The Constitution of India does not define the term “minorities” anywhere but only mentions it in some Articles 29 to 30 and 350A to 350B.

 Article 29 referring to minorities speaks of “any section of citizens having a distinctlanguage, script and culture”.

Article 30 speaks about two categories of minorities – religious and linguistic – while

Article 350 relates to linguistic minorities.

Schemes for Welfare of Minorities

Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakaram

Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) seeks to provide better socio-economic infrastructure facilities to the minority communities particularly in the field of education, health & skill development

Nai Roshni

The scheme is envisaged to reach out to women through nongovernmental organizations who will be provided with financial support for conducting leadership development trainings

Nalanda Scheme

Union Ministry of Minority Affairs has launched the Nalanda Project for Minorities Higher Educational Institutions. Nalanda Project is an innovative Faculty Development Program of Union Ministry of Minority Affairs.

 USTAAD:

The Scheme aims at upgrading Skills and Training in preservation of traditional Ancestral Arts/Crafts of minorities.

 Hamari Darohar:

The Scheme aims to preserve rich heritage of minority communities in context of Indian culture.

Nai Manzil:

A bridge course to bridge the academic and skill development gaps of the deeni Madrasa passouts with their mainstream counterparts.

Constitutional Provisions

• Preamble: Justice – social, economic, political to all its citizens

• Articles 14,15 and 16 : Guarantee right to equality and prohibits discrimination

• Article 25-28 : Right to Freedom of Religion

• Article 29: Right to preserve language script and culture and that they will not be denied admission to an educational institutions based on their race, language, religion or caste

• Article 30: The right to establish and administer educational institutions and prohibition on any discrimination in matters of granting aids to such institutions by the State

Laws Related to Minorities

• Different Personal Laws govern marriage, divorce and succession rights of persons belonging to different faiths, such as – Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872; Paris Marriage and Divorce Act 1936

• National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004 — This act allows direct affiliation of minority educational institutes to central universities. This act was enacted in order to provide quality education in minority institutes.

Institutions and Bodies for the betterment of  minorities

National Commission for Minorities

Established by the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 to protect minority rights in the country, the commission consists of one chairperson and six members representing the six minor communities – Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains.

The Commission performs various functions including evaluating the development of minority communities under Union and States, ensuring the safeguard of minority rights as per the Constitutional laws and other legislations, conducting studies and researches on the matters related to minorities and suggesting measures to Government on these aspects.

National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions

• It can look into any complaints relating to violation and deprivation of rights of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

• This Commission is a quasi-judicial body and has been endowed with the powers of a Civil Court.

Central Waqf Council

   A Wakf is a permanent dedication of movable or immovable properties for purposes recognised by the Muslim Law as religious, pious or charitable. The Council implements schemes for the development of urban Wakf properties and educational programmes schemes.

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