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Case Studies on Cultural and Educational Rights Notes | Study Indian Polity for UPSC CSE - UPSC

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Right of Minorities to Establish and Administer Educational Institutions of their choice
In a judgement delivered in the Secretary of Malankara Syrian Catholic College case14a (2007), the Supreme Court has summarized the general principles relating to establishment and administration of minority educational institutions in the following way:

1. The right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice comprises the following rights:

  • To choose its governing body in whom the founders of institution have faith and confidence to conduct and manage affairs of the institution.
  • To appoint teaching staff (teachers/ lecturers and headmasters/principals) as also non teaching staff; and to take ac if there is dereliction of duty on the part of any of its employees.
  • To admit eligible students of their choice and to set unreasonable fee structure; and To use its properties and assets for the benefit of the institution

2. The right conferred on minorities under Article 30 is only to ensure equality with the majority and not intended to place the minorities in a more advantageous position vis-a-vis the majority. There is no reverse discrimination in favour of minorities. The general laws of the land relating to national interest, national security, social welfare, public order, morality, health, sanitation, taxation etc., applicable to all, will equally apply to minority institutions also.

3. The right to establish and administer educational institutions is not absolute. Nor does it include the right to maladminister. There can be regulatory measures for ensuring educational character and standards and maintaining academic excellence. There can be checks on administration as are necessary to ensure that the administration is efficient and sound, so as to serve the academic needs of the institution. Regulations made by the State concerning generally the welfare of students and teachers, regulations laying down eligibility criteria and qualifications for appointment, as also conditions of service of employees (both teaching and non-teaching), regulations to prevent exploitation or oppression of employees, and regulations prescribing syllabus and curriculum of study fall under this category. Such regulations do not in any manner interfere with the right under Article 30(1).

4. Subject to the eligibility conditions/ qualifications prescribed by the State being met, the unaided minority educational institutions will have the freedom to appoint teachers/lecturers by adopting any rational procedure of selection.

5. Extension of aid by the State, does not alter the nature and character of the minority educational institutions. The condition scan be imposed by the State to ensure proper utilization of the aid, without however diluting or abridging the right under Article30(1).

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