The National Commission for Minorities celebrated the “Minorities Day” on December 18, 2020. The day was celebrated by felicitating the COVID warriors from minority communities.
Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Act, 1992 defines the minority. As per the NCM Act, “minority” means a community which are notified as such by the Central Government for the purpose of the act. In India total of six minority community have been notified by the central government namely, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains. However, Minorities are not defined in the Indian Constitution.
Article 29 and Article 30 of the constitution contains provisions for the minorities in India. Article 29 provides certain Protection to the interests of minorities. As per this article, any section of the citizens who are living in the Indian territory and who are having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve their distinct culture. Further, the article mandates that, citizen shall not be denied admission to any educational institution which are maintained by the State or receiving grant out of State funds on the basis of religion, race, caste or language. While, Article 30 provides certain Right to minorities in order to establish and administer the educational institutions. As per the article, all the religious minorities and linguistic minorities shall have the right to establish and administer the educational institutions of their own.
The central government had established the National Commission for Minorities under the NCM act, 1992. The commission comprises of Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and five Members. These five Members and the Chairperson are from amongst the minority communities. The commission has been provided the work to monitor the working of the safeguards that are provided in the Constitution. The commission also makes recommendations for the effective implementation of safeguards in order to protect the interests of minorities by the Central Government or the State Governments.