India: The Predicament Of Linguistic Minority Schools

Last Updated: 1 August 2017
Article by Seema Jhingan, Neha Yadav and Saniya Kothari

With the intent to enable minorities to protect and preserve their language, culture and religion and also to promote and provide education to minorities in general, Article 30 of the Constitution of India ("CoI") grants minorities the right to establish and administer educational institutions/schools of their choice. Minority status educational institutions enjoy several rights/liberties and a much higher level of administrative and operational freedom as compared to non-minority institutions. The obligations of a non-minority institution is further compounded by the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 ("RTE Act"), which inter alia requires admission to students of weaker sections and economically deprived community constituting 25% of the total strength of students, an obligation which is not applicable to minority institutions1. Post implementation of the RTE Act, the applications seeking minority status has seen significant increase for the obvious reasons.

The National Commission for Minority Educational Institution ("NCMEI") was established under the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004 ("NCMEI Act") to inter alia specify measures to promote and preserve the minority status and character of institutions established by minorities, decide on questions relating to grant of status as a minority educational institution and protect its status as such. In terms of section 10 of NCMEI Act, a minority educational school may apply to the 'competent authority' appointed by an 'appropriate Government' for seeking minority status. The term 'appropriate government' has been defined, to mean:

  • in relation to an educational institution recognized for conducting its programmes of studies under any Act of Parliament, the Central Government; and
  • in relation to any other educational institution recognized for conducting its programmes of studies under any State Act, a State Government in whose jurisdiction such institution is established.

Further, the FAQs and the 'Manual on Procedure for Filing Application for Minority Status Certificate', as available on the website of NCMEI, state that a school affiliated to CBSE/ICSE or any central affiliating authority, may submit the application seeking minority status, directly with the NCMEI.

Thus, in view of the foregoing, it appears that:

  • in case the school is a CBSE/ICSE affiliated school, then the application for seeking minority status can be submitted directly with NCMEI; or
  • in case the school is not affiliated with CBSE or ICSE, then the application for seeking minority status will be submitted with the relevant authority authorised by the state government.

That said, it appears that while NCMEI Act does not expressly distinguish between linguistic and religious minorities, however, NCMEI is not accepting any applications (either directly or by way of an appeal against the order of the state minority commission) for grant of minority status certificate to a linguistic minority. While NCMEI Act does not expressly restrict applications by linguistic minorities, Section 2(f) of the NCMEI Act has defined the term 'minority' to mean a community notified as such by the Central Government. The Central Government has only notified 6 religious minorities and has not notified any linguistic minorities. Thus, even though section 12B of the NCMEI Act allows educational institutions to file appeals against rejection of application seeking minority status by the state government, it appears that NCMEI does not grant minority status certificates to linguistic minorities.

Reportedly, this stance taken by NCMEI has, however, left many linguistic minority institutions of many states (including from Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh) in a fix, where applications submitted by the institutions for grant of minority status have not been processed by the state authorities for a long time. To make matters worse, since these institutions do not possess a minority status certificate, they are apparently also being asked by the relevant authorities to comply with the provisions of the RTE Act to grant admission to students of economically deprived community constituting 25% of the total strength of students. As stated above, since these institutions are also not being entertained by NCMEI, they are left with virtually no recourse with either the state authorities or NCMEI. Certain institutions have, however, approached the relevant courts in their jurisdiction to seek redressal of the long outstanding issue. But till then, the fate of linguistic minority institutions, who have applied but not been granted minority status or have not been renewed as minority institutions after being granted provisional status, remains uncertain till a final decision is taken by the applicable authorities.

Footnote

1. Please refer to the decisions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Society for Unaided Private Schools of Rajasthan v. Union of India (2012) 6 SCC 1; and Pramati Educational & Cultural Trust & Ors v. Union of India & Ors (2014) 8 SCC 1 on non-applicability of certain provisions of the RTE Act to minority institutions.

LexCounsel provides this e-update on a complimentary basis solely for informational purposes. It is not intended to constitute, and should not be taken as, legal advice, or a communication intended to solicit or establish any attorney-client relationship between LexCounsel and the reader(s). LexCounsel shall not have any obligations or liabilities towards any acts or omission of any reader(s) consequent to any information contained in this e-newsletter. The readers are advised to consult competent professionals in their own judgment before acting on the basis of any information provided hereby.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Seema Jhingan
Neha Yadav
Saniya Kothari
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions