CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL RIGHT (ARTICLE 29-30)
India is a land of culture where we have different religion, race caste and linguistic minorities affiliated to distinct belief systems, sub cultures and regions. The constitution guarantees Rights to Education and Cultures for every single citizen of a country. The Constitution also provides a safeguard to protect the rights of the minorities. In our Indian constitution right to Cultural and Educational rights means that any community that has a language and a script of its own has a right to conserve it according to the Article 29 and Article 30 of the Constitutions.
Who is Minority ?
The Constitution does not define “MINORITY”. However, ARTICLE 30 explains two types of Minority _ Linguistic Minority and Religious Minority.
ARTICLE 29 _ Protection of interests of minorities
This Article safeguards the interests of minority group
(1) It guarantees any section of the citizens residing in part of India having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right have the right to conserve the same i.e script or culture it means any minority community can preserve its language, script or culture by and through educational institutions. In the case of D.A.V. College vs. State of Punjab 1971, In D.A.V college, the major question was whether Hindus in the State of Punjab could be construed as a minority group under Article 29 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court held that they could not force Hindus to obey a state law saying that instruction for certain courses had to be carried out in Punjabi in the Gurmukhi Script.
(2) It guarantees that no citizens shall be prohibited denial of admission into educational institutions maintained by the state or receiving aid out of state funds on the ground only of caste, race, religion or language or any of them. It applies to all citizens whether they belonging to majority or minority groups. Therefore, school run by a majority, if it is aided by the State funds, cannot refuse admissions belonging to other communities.
Difference between Article 29 (2) and 15(1)
- Article 15(1) prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex or place of birth whereas, Article 29 (2) does not mention these grounds.
- Article 15 (1) provides guarantee against discrimination based on sex, race or caste, etc whereas, Article 29(2) confers a special right on citizens.
- Article 15(1) is broader scope and apply to those cases where Article 29(2) is not applicable, Article 29 (2) is quite general and wide in terms and applies to all citizens whether they are belonging to majority or minority groups.
ARTICLE 30 _ Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions
(1) It guarantees all minorities based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer the educational institutions of their choice. It guarantees to all linguistics and religious minorities the ‘right to establish’ and the ‘right to administer’ educational institutions of their own choice. The right is conferred by this clause on two types of minorities – religious and linguistics minorities.In the case of St. Xavier’s College vs. State of Gujarat the Supreme Court held that these provisions abridged the right of the minority to administer the educational institution of their choice. The right to administer is the right to ‘conduct’and ‘manage’ the affairs of the institutions.
(2) It guarantees that the State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institutions on the ground that it is managed by a religious minority or linguistics minority.
Difference between Article 30(1) and 29(1)
(a) Article 29 (1) guarantees rights on any section of the citizens which will include majority sections, whereas Article 30 (1) guarantees right only on minorities based language.
(b) While Article 29(1) conferred only three subjects, i.e language, script, or culture, whereas Article 30(1) conferred minorities based on language or religion.
(c) Article 29(1) does not deal with education as such, whereas Article 30 (1) deals only with the establishment, and administration of educational institutions.
The Constitutions (44th Amendment )Act, 1978
This Amendment has abolished the right to property as a fundamental right guranteed by Article 19(1) (f) and Article 31 of the Constitution. However, it has taken care that the removal of property from the fundamental rights would not affect the right of minorities to establish and administer educational of their choice.
Some Important Case Laws
Saint Stephen’s College vs. University of Delhi
In this case, Saint Stephen’s College vs. University of Delhi, the University gave 10% relaxation preference to Christian students during the admission validity programs was challenged by Delhi University as violation of Delhi University circulars for admission to various courses.
The Supreme Court held that the college, being a minority institution the university was not bound to follow the directions of the university. It may select students for admission based on interview and may not abide by the rules to select students on the basis of marks obtained in the written examination. It also laid down that up to 50%seats may be reserved for students belonging to Christian community. Other students may be admitted based on merit.
re Kerala Education Bill
The Supreme Court said that the fundamental right given to all minorities under Article 30(1) to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice does not militate against the claim of the State to insist that in granting aid the State may not prescribe reasonable regulations to ensure the excellence of the institutions.
P.A. Inamdar vs. State of Maharashtra
The Supreme Court held that the private unaided professional institutions (minority and non-majority) cannot be forced to accept the reservation policy of the State, private educational institutions, which intend to provide better professional education cannot be forced by the State to make admission based on reservation policy to less meritorious students.
Through this article we can conclude that the main objective of Article 29 and Article 30, is the identification and preservation of different types of people with different languages, different beliefs, and such type of protection is what constitute essence of secularism in our constitution. This article gives an information about ‘Who can be considered a Minority’ different aspects of Article 29 and Article 30 like how the government fixes the reservation policy, and brief discussion about different case laws and decisions of the government.
Author: Divya Tripathi,
Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University LLB 3 Year ( 2 Semester)