What are “minority institutions”? How are they different from other institutions? Discuss in the light of constitutional provisions.
A minority institute may be an institute that has been set up by either a religious or linguistic minority to foster its unique and special features. As per Article 30(1) of Constitution “All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice”. As per Article 30(2), the state, cannot discriminate against minority institutions while granting aid.
Article 30 deals with religious and linguistic minorities while the ambit of article 29 is wider. As per Article 29, any section of the citizens have the right to conserve have a distinct language, script or culture of its own .” So the constitution recognizes that different groups have distinct cultures.
However, there is a contradiction between Article 30(1) & Article 29(2). As per Article 29(2), there should be no discrimination into admission into any educational institution which is maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them.
Apex court in TMA Pai Foundation case held that while minorities can set up and establish institutions, it would be subject to some regulation, especially if they were state-aided to any degree.
Bombay high court in a case had held that the constitutional right to minorities for the educational institute is bigger than Right to education.
Special protection to rights of minorities gives vitality not only to secularism but also strengthen democracy. Democracy can’t survive without accepting the rights which are fundamental to its very existence the recognition of the rights of minorities.