New Delhi: The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) has opposed the criteria fixed by four southern states for granting minority status to educational institutions.
According to Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka’s criteria, an educational institution is granted minority status if they enrol between 25-50% of its students from a particular minority community.
NCMEI has asked the four states to align with its criteria that require an institution seeking the minority tag to have admitted at least the same percentage of students from a particular minority community that matches its population share in the respective state, the Tribune reported
According to the Tamil Nadu government’s policy, in place since 2018, an institution set up by a minority community needs to enrol 50% of its students from that community. This figure is 30% in Telangana and 25% in Karnataka.
NCMEI member Shahid Akhter, in a meeting on October 16, expressed displeasure at these criteria citing that such limits would deny minority status to institutions and discourage philanthropists from setting them up, the Tribune report said.
Minority communities are granted the power to set up and administer educational institutions to advance education in a particular community under the constitution. These institutions are exempted from implementing other reservation policies and are allowed to reserve up to 50% seats for students of a particular community.
However, it has been observed that institutions set up by a particular community mostly enrol students from other communities, the Tribune reported.
Jose Abraham, a Supreme Court advocate who has represented several petitioner institutions in the NCMEI, pointed out why that is the case. “The governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are saying they would withdraw recognition to a school if it does not meet the required percentage of enrolment of children from the respective community. Imagine communities like Parsis, Jains, Christians, Buddhists and Sikhs, whose share in the population is very low. To ensure 50% enrolment from any one of these communities is impossible,” Abraham told the paper.
At the NCMEI meeting, the officials of the four states agreed to reconsider their criteria, a source told the paper.