National Commission for Minorities

The Government of India has set up a Commission for protecting the rights of minorities. The National Commission on Minorities (NCW) consists of a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson and four other members. All of them are appointed by the President. The functions of the National Commission for Minorities, as a statutory commission established by an Act of 1992, under the Act, are:

(i) to evaluate the progress of the development of minorities under the Union and States;

(ii) to monitor the working of the safeguards provided in the Constitution and in the laws enacted by Parliament and the State Legislatures;

(iii) to make recommendations for the effective implementation of safeguards for the protection of the interests of minorities by the Central Governments or the State Governments;

(iv) to look into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights and safeguards of the minorities and take up such matters with the appropriate authorities;

(v) to cause studies to be undertaken into problems arising out of any discrimination against minorities and recommend measures for their removal;

(vi) conduct studies, research and analysis on the issues relating to socio-economic and educational development of minorities;

(vii) to suggest appropriate measures in respect of any minority to be undertaken by the Central Government or the State Governments;

(viii) to make periodical or special reports to the Central Government on any matter pertaining to minorities and in particular the difficulties confronted by them;

(ix) any other matter which may be referred to it by the Central Government. The powers of NCM, acting as a civil court, are:

(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath;

(b) requiring the discovery and production of any document;

(c) receiving evidence on affidavit;

(d) requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;

(e) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents;

(f) any other matter which may be prescribed. The reports of NCM are to be placed in the Parliament and in the State Legislature. The NCM does well for the protection of minorities in the country.

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