- National Commission for Minorities
- Goa’s Liberation Day
NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MINORITIES (NCM)
Focus: GS 2 ;Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Why in News?
Union Minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri presides over the “Minorities Day” celebration by the National Commission for Minorities
About National Commission for Minorities (NCM)
- The National Commission for Minorities is a statutory body that was originally titled Minorities Commission.
- Unlike the National Commission for SCs, STs and Backward Classes, it is not a constitutional body.
- With the enactment of National Commission for Minorities Act 1992, the Minorities Commission (a non-statutory body) was renamed as National Commission for Minorities.
- The NCM adheres to the United Nations Declaration of 18 December 1992 which states that “States shall protect the existence of the National or Ethnic, Cultural, Religious and Linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories and encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity.”
- The Minority day is observed in India, every year on December 18, to safeguard the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of religious minorities in the country.
- The commission works for the development of the recognized minorities in India.
- The commission is mandated to have one chairperson, a vice-chairperson and 5 members, to be nominated by the Central Government from amongst persons of eminence, ability and integrity
- All members shall be from amongst the minority communities.
- Also in the current atmosphere of insecurity among many sections of the minority population, NCM provides a platform for articulation of their grievances.
- While the NCM’s recommendations are often ignored, the Centre is required to present its reports, along with an action taken report, to Parliament.
- In cases involving states, the NCM is obliged to advise or act in some way.
About Minority Communities and Constitutional Provisions to protect Minority in India
- As per the Census 2011, the percentage of minorities in the country is about 19.3% of the total population of the country.
- The six religious communities notified as minority communities in India:
- Jains (Notified as a minority on 27th June 2014.)
- Out of six minority communities, Muslim is the largest one representing 14.2 percent of the population with 17.22 crores citizens belonging to slim religion (as per census 2011).
- The Article 29 protects the interests of the minorities by making a provision that any citizen / section of citizens having a distinct language, script or culture have the right to conserve the same.
- The Article 29 mandates that no discrimination would be done on the ground of religion, race, caste, language or any of them, plus in Article 30 (1) and (2), under Part XVII Official Language of Indian Constitution Article 347, 350A and 350B minorities protected.
- The Constitution does not define the word ‘minorities’, the Constitution actually conceives ‘minority’ as an open category to protect the interests of various religious, linguistic and culturally distinctive groups.
- On March 9, 2005 the then Prime Minister issued a Notification for the constitution of a High Level Committee to prepare a report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India. Recommendations contained in the Report of the High Level Committee on Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community of India headed by Justice Rajindar Sachar.
About Functions of National Commission for Minorities (NCM)
- To evaluate the progress of the development of minorities under the Union and states.
- To monitor the working of safeguards provided in the Constitution and in union and state laws.
- To make recommendations for effective implementation of safeguards for the protection of minority interests.
- To look into, and take up, specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights and safeguards of minorities.
- To get problems of discrimination against minorities studied, and recommend ways to remove them.
- To conduct studies, research, analysis on socioeconomic and educational development of minorities.
- To suggest appropriate measures in respect of any minority to be undertaken by central or state governments.
- To make periodic or special reports to the Centre on any matter concerning minorities; especially their difficulties.
- To take up any other matter which may be referred to it by the central government.
About Powers of National Commission for Minorities (NCM)
- Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining him on oath.
- Requiring the discovery and production of any document.
- Receiving evidence on affidavit.
- Requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office.
- Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents.
About Ministry of Minority Affairs
- The Ministry of Minority Affairs was carved out of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and created on 29th January, 2006 to ensure a more focused approach towards issues relating to the notified minority communities namely Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikhs, Parsis and Jain.
- The mandate of the Ministry includes formulation of overall policy and planning, coordination, evaluation and review of the regulatory framework and development programmes for the benefit of the minority communities.
GOA’S LIBERATION DAY
Focus: GS 1 ;Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country
Why in News?
President of India to Grace the Goa’s Liberation Day Celebrations in Panaji Tomorrow
About Goa’s Liberation Day
- The Goa Liberation Day is observed on December 19 every year in India and it marks the day Indian armed forces freed Goa in 1961 following 450 years of Portuguese rule.
- The Portuguese colonized several parts of India in 1510 but by the end of the 19th-century Portuguese colonies in India were limited to Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra, Nagar Haveli and Anjediva Island.
- The Goa liberation movement, which sought to end Portuguese colonial rule in Goa, started off with small scale revolts.
- On August 15, 1947, when India gained its Independence, Goa was still under the Portuguese rule.
- The Portuguese refused to give up their hold over Goa and other Indian territories.
- The 36-hour military operation, conducted from December 18, 1961, was code-named ‘Operation Vijay’ meaning ‘Operation Victory,’ and involved attacks by the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Indian Army.
- According to the Indian Navy website, Indian troops reclaimed the Goan territory on December 19 with little resistance and the deposed governor general Manuel António Vassalo e Silva signed the certificate of surrender thus bringing Portuguese rule in the region to an end.
- The War Memorial at Indian Naval Ship Gomantak was constructed in memory of seven young gallant sailors and other personnel who laid down their lives on 19 Dec 1961 in the “Operation Vijay” undertaken by the Indian Navy for the liberation of Anjadip Island and Territories of Goa, Daman and Diu.
- The Goa Liberation Day is marked by an abundance of events and festivities in Goa though this time because of the pandemic the celebrations are expected to be muted.
- The various cultural programs like Sugam Sangeet an Indian musical genre with poetry in the Kannada language are also held to mark the occasion.