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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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FAQs on Case Studies on Cultural and Educational Rights - Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

1. What are cultural and educational rights?
Ans. Cultural and educational rights refer to the rights that individuals and communities have to preserve, develop, and express their cultural, linguistic, and educational identities. These rights ensure that everyone has access to education and the freedom to participate in and contribute to their cultural heritage.
2. What is the significance of cultural and educational rights?
Ans. Cultural and educational rights are crucial for the promotion of diversity, inclusivity, and social cohesion within a society. They help in preserving and promoting different cultures, languages, and traditions, allowing individuals to have a sense of belonging and identity. These rights also ensure equal opportunities for education and learning, enabling individuals to develop their skills and knowledge.
3. How are cultural and educational rights protected?
Ans. Cultural and educational rights are protected through various international and national legal frameworks. Internationally, they are recognized and safeguarded by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and UNESCO's Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Nationally, countries have their own laws and policies that protect and promote cultural and educational rights.
4. Can cultural and educational rights be restricted?
Ans. While cultural and educational rights are fundamental, they may sometimes be subject to certain limitations. Such restrictions can be imposed to protect public order, national security, or the rights and freedoms of others. However, any limitations on these rights should be proportionate, non-discriminatory, and in accordance with the law.
5. How can individuals and communities promote and exercise their cultural and educational rights?
Ans. Individuals and communities can promote and exercise their cultural and educational rights by actively participating in cultural activities, preserving their cultural heritage, promoting multilingualism, and advocating for inclusive and quality education. They can also engage with relevant organizations, institutions, and platforms that support and promote cultural and educational rights. Additionally, individuals can raise awareness about these rights and advocate for their protection and fulfillment at local, national, and international levels.
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