A sociological minority is not necessarily a numerical minority, it may include any group that is subnormal with respect to a dominant group in terms of social status education, employment, wealth and political power. The term minority group often occurs alongside a discourse of civil right and collective rights which gains prominence in the 20th century members of minority groups are prone to different treatment in the countries and societies in which they live. A minority is a social group that does not make up a politically dominant voting majority of a total population of a given society.
Sociologist Louis worth defined a minoritygroups; “a group of people whobecause of their physical or culturalcharacteristics, are singled out from theothers in the society in which they live fordifferential and unequal treatment andwho there for regard themselves as aobject of collective discrimination”.
Every large society contains Ethnicminorities, style of life, language, andorigin can differ from the majority. The minority status is conditionednot only by a clearly numerical relation butalso by questions of political power.
Persons belonging to religiousminority have a faith which is different fromthat held by the majority. Most of the countries in theworld have religious minorities.
There is no theoretical legal definitionof national minorities in international law. only in Europe is this exact definitionprovided by the European charter forregional or minority languages. However national minority can betheoretically defined as a group of peoplewithin a given national state;-
Which is numerically smaller than the rest of population of the state or a part of the state Which is not in a dominant position Which has culture, language, religion, race etc…distinct from that of the rest of population Whose members have a will to preserve their specificity Whose members are citizens of the state were they have the status of a minority. Which have a long term presence on the territory where it has lived.
At the end of the first World War, "international protection of minorities" was the great fashion………… In accordance with the principle of protection of minorities, minorities have a right to be protected against physical extermination, "assimilation" or "absorption"; they have a right not only to preserve but to develop their specific characteristics and are entitled for that purpose to special rights, privileges and services, transcending mere equality and non- discrimination, transcending the mere guarantee of human rights, due to all, majorities and minorities.
The greatest development, from the point of view of the evolution of international law, was that certain states were bound by international obligations vis-a-vis certain of their own citizens, namely, those belonging to minorities, whereas, under general international law, their treatment belongs to the "domestic jurisdiction" of those states. The latter has even a small bureaucratic niche in the huge apparatus of the United Nations in the form of the "Sub-Commission for the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities," a sub-organ of the Commission on Human Rights.
The Sub-Commission proposed "interim measures" for the minorities, facilities to be provided for them; proposed, in the way of implementation, a right of petition by individuals and groups; but no action was taken by the superior bodies. It proposed also a particular study of definition and protection of political groups, and suggested that the Economic and Social Council prepare an international convention for the protection of minorities. also dealt primarily with prevention of discrimination, particularly in education and employment, it recommended also a world-wide study by the United Nations of the present position of minorities.
The term minority includes those non- document group of the population which posses and wish to preserve stable ethnic traditions or characteristics markedly different from those other rest of the population Such minority should properly include the number of persons sufficient by themselves to reserve such tradition or charactistics; and Such minority should be loyal to the state of which they are nationals.
Article 26 as follows; All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all person equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political, or other opinion national or social origin, birth or other status. Article 27 as follows; In those state in which ethnic ,religious or linguistic minorities exist ,person belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right ,in community with the other members of their there group ,to enjoy their own culture ,to profess and practise their own religion ,or to use their own language.
Article 29…..protection of interest of minority(1)any section of citizen residing in any territory of India or any part their of having a distinct language script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same(2)no citizen shall be denied admission into any educational maintained by the state or receiving aid out of state funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them. Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India gives linguistic and religious minorities a fundamental right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MINORITY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS ACT, 2004 Section 2(g) Defines; "Minority Educational Institution" meansa college or institution (other than a University)established or maintained by a person or groupof persons from amongst the minorities; Minorityinstitution act”.
THE CENTRAL EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS (Reservation in Admission) ACT, 2006 Sec. 2 (f ) defines a minority educational institution as under; “Minority Educational Institution” means an institution established and administered by the minorities under clause (1) of article 30 of the Constitution and so declared by an Act of Parliament or by the Central Government or declared as a minority educational institution under the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004.
10. Right of a Minority Educational Institution to seek affiliation to a Scheduled University.- (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, a Minority Educational Institution may seek recognition as an affiliated college of a Scheduled University of its choice. (2) The Scheduled University shall consult the Government of the State in which the minority educational institution seeking affiliation under sub-section (1) is situate and views of such Government shall be taken into consideration before granting affiliation.
The national commission for minority educational institutions 3. Constitution of National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions.-(1) The Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute a body to be known as the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions to exercise the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to, it under this Act.(2) The Commission shall consist of a Chairperson and two members to be nominated by the Central Government.
4. Qualifications for appointment as Chairperson or other Member.-(1) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as the Chairperson unless he,- (a) is a member of a minority community; and (b) has been a Judge of a High Court.(2) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Member unless he,- (a) is a member of a minority community; and (b) is a person of eminence, ability and integrity.
5. Term of office and conditions of service of Chairperson and Members.-(1) Every Member shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he assumes office.(2) A Member may, by writing under his hand addressed to the Central Government, resign from the office of Chairperson or, as the case may be, of Member at any time.(3) The Central Government shall remove a person from the office of Member if that person- (a) becomes an undischarged insolvent; (b) is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for an offence which, in the opinion of the Central Government, involves moral turpitude;
(c) becomes of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court;(d) refuses to act or becomes incapable of acting;(e) is, without obtaining leave of absence from the Commission, absent from three consecutive meetings of the Commission; or(f) in the opinion of the Central Government, has so abused the position of Chairperson or Member as to render that persons continuance in office detrimental to the public interest: Provided that no person shall be removed under this clause until that person has been given an opportunity of being heard in the matter.
11. Functions of Commission.- Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, the Commission shall-(a) advise the Central Government or any State Government on any question relating to the education of minorities that may be referred to it;(b) look into specific complaints regarding deprivation or violation of rights of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice and any dispute relating affiliation to a Scheduled University and report its findings to the Central Government for its implementation; and(c) to do such other acts and things as may be necessary, incidental or conducive to the attainment of all or any of the objects of the Commission.
12. Powers of Commission.-(1) If any dispute arises between a minority educational institution and a Scheduled University relating to its affiliation to such University, the decision of the Commission thereon shall be final.(2) The Commission shall, for the purposes of discharging its functions under this Act, have all the powers of a civil court trying a suit and in particular, in respect of the following matters, namely:-
(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 affidavits;(d) subject to the provisions of sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872), requisitioning any public record or document or copy of such record or document from any office;(e) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents; and(f) any other matter which may be prescribed.
13. Financial and administrative powers ofChairperson.- The Chairperson shall exercise such financialand administrative powers as may be vested inhim by the rules made under this section: Provided that the Chairperson shall haveauthority to delegate such of the financial andadministrative powers as he may think fit to anyMember or Secretary or any other officer of theCommission subject to the condition that suchMember or Secretary or officer shall, whileexercising such delegated powers, continue toact under the direction, control and supervisionof the Chairperson.
It is true that it is only theminorities, whose right to establish andadminister educational institution is mentioned inarticle 30(1) it does not follow the same is deniedto the majority communities,. Recognition and protection of minority rightunder a legal framework has two fold objectivesfirstly to prevent state from being oppressiveagainst the minorities as in a democratic set upgovernment is run by majority, secondly toprovide the minority a protective zone wherebythey can preserve their separate identity whilecontributing in national development andprogress.
A Society or Trust consisting of members ofa minority community,or even a single memberof a minority community, may establish aninstitution. The position has been clarified bythe Supreme Court in State of Kerala vs.Mother Provincial AIR 1970 SC 2079, theSupreme Court has observed:
“Establishment means bringing intobeing of an institution and it must be by aminority community. It matters not if singlephilanthropic individual with his ownmeans, institution or the community at largefounds the institution or the community atlarge contributes the funds. The position in lawis the same and the intention in either casemust be to found an institution for the benefitof a minority community by a member of thatcommunity. It is equally irrelevant to this rightthat in addition to the minoritycommunity, others from other minoritycommunities or even from the majoritycommunity can take advantage of theseinstitutions.”
In St. Stephen’s College vs. University of Delhi (1992) SCC 558, The Supreme Court has declared the St. Stephen’s College as a minority educational institution on the ground that it was established and administered by members of the Christian Community.T.M.A. Pai Foundation vs. State of Karnataka (2002) 8 SCC 481 That a minority, whether linguistic or religious, is determinable only by reference to demography of the State and not by taking into consideration the population of the country as a whole. The application of numerical test with reference to religion in states like Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Nagaland makes Sikhism, Islam and Christianity, the majority religions in those states respectively.
T.K.V.T.S.S. Medical Educational andCharitable Trust vs. State of Tamil Nadu AIR 2002 Madras 42 Held that “once it is established that the institution has been established by a linguistic minority, and is administered by that minority, that would be sufficient for claiming the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 30(1) of the Constitution.”
Article 30(1) Of the Constitution, which was a necessary concomitant to Art. 29(1) and gave the minorities the right to establish and administer their institutions, did not define the word minority, nor was it defined anywhere else by the Constitution, but it was absurd to suggest that a minority or section envisaged by Art. 30(1) and Art. 29(1) could mean only such persons as constituted a numerical minority in the particular region where the educational institution was situated or resided under a local authority.
Court upon certain questionsrelating to the constitutional validity of some ofthe provisions of the Kerala EducationBill,1957, which had been passed by the KeralaLegislative Assemblyfour questions referred to this Court, the first and third impugned cl.3(5)read with cl.36 and cl.15 of the Bill as beingdiscriminatory under Art. 14, the second impugned cls. 3(5), 8(3)and cls. 9 to 13 Of the Bill as being violative ofminority rights guaranteed by Art. 30(1) and the fourth, cl.33 of the Bill, asoffending Art. 226 of the Constitution.
As soon as we reach Art. 30 (1)learned counsel for the State of Kerala at onceposes the question: what is a minority ? That isa term which is not defined in the Constitution.It is easy to say that a minority communitymeans a community which is numerically lessthan 50 per cent, but then the question is notfully answered, for part of the question has yetto be answered, namely, 50 percent of what ? Isit 50 percent of the entire population of India or50 percent of the population of a State forminga part of the Union ?
"There is yet another aspect of the question that falls for consideration, namely as to what is a minority under Art.30(1) The state contends that Christians, a certain section of whom is enthusiastic in its objection to the Bill on the allegation that it offends Art.30(1), are not in a minority in the State. It is no doubt true that Christians are not a mathematical majority in the whole State. They constitute about one-fourth of the population; but it does not follow there from that they form a minority within the meaning of Art.30 (1).
Learned counsel for the minority institutions; obligation of the State towards the minority communities. We the people of India have given unto ourselves the Constitution which is not for any particular community or section but for all. Its provisions are intended to protect all, minority as well as the majority communities. There can be no manner of doubt that our Constitution has guaranteed certain cherished rights of the minorities concerning their language, culture and religion.
Minority for the purpose of this Actmeans a community belonging to a religiousor linguistic minority as may be determinedby Government taking the State as a unit.
The minorities are to be a group of people who are culturally linguistically scripturally different from the rest and are identifiable It is for the up keeps for their uniqueness that the constitution strives to protect and promote them. The above aspect of these group of people are sought to be conserved by allowing them to setup and maintain education institute to promote their language culture or script. The minority groups are also permitted under law to set up their own educational institution.
Determining factors for according recognition and conferring status asunaided minority professional college orinstitution.- A minority unaided professional collegeor institution established and maintained by any linguistic or religious minority shallbe accorded recognition and conferred status of anunaided minority professional college or institutiononly if it satisfies all the following conditions ofdemographic equivalence between the minoritycommunity to which the college belongs and thenon-minority community of the State taken as asingle unitnamely:
(a) the population of the linguistic or religious minority community in the State which runs the professional college or institution shall be lesser than fifty percent of the total population of the State.(b) the number of professional colleges or institutions run by the linguistic or religious minority community in the State to which the college or institution belong shall be proportionately lesser than the number of professional colleges or institutions run by the non-minority community in the State.(c) the number of students belonging to the linguistic or religious minority community to which the college or institution belongs undergoing professional education in all professional colleges or institutions in the State shall be proportionately lesser than the number of students belonging to the non-minority community in the State.