Reality Check India

Is your religion “approved” for running a training institute ?

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on August 28, 2012

Art 30 confers no extra rights

First, lets look at a news item I have been wanting to blog about for a while.  I had to put it off due to the Indian government’s crackdown on online opinion critical of it under the guise of a national emergency.  My ISP, presumably scared of the state apparatus blocked the entire domain (verified by over 20 people across India) when the government only wanted them to ban a couple of posts.

71 institutes in Kerala granted minority status in one sitting

NEW DELHI: The grant of minority status to 71 educational institutions of Kerala by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) in a single sitting has raised hackles within the panel as well as the HRD ministry for doling out of minority certificates without due diligence.

In January, when NCMEI granted minority status to 71 institutions, two of its members — Mohinder Singh and Cyriac Thomas — wrote to chairperson M S A Siddiqui pointing out that the files of many institutions were not in order. In fact, in few cases the vakalatnama by the advocate did not bear his signature. Even required affidavits were not in the files. The two members asked Siddqui as to how the secretary of NCMEI cleared 71 applications and told members that these cases were in order. The duo requested Siddiqui to review minority status to the 71 institutions by the full bench of the commission.

Source : TOI

The fundamental question is not whether the minority applicants – non Hindu for the most part,  had their applications in order. The question is whether a modern democracy can feature

  • a statutory body like NCMEI whose composition is based on religion (Sep 2004 Notification Sec 5. “All members should be chosen as far as possible from minority communities”)
  • exclusive benefits available to members of one religion even in non religious fields
  • such a body can scrutinize and grant their own communities these benefits

Teacher shortage

There is a large demand for teachers in India today, as per some estimates about 20 Lakh new teachers are to be hired in next two years. This is also one of the few areas where the government is still hiring in significant numbers. Naturally, quite a few private teachers training institutes mushroomed to cater to this demand.  In order to regulate this,  a statutory government body called NCTE (National Council for Teacher Education) stepped in. In July 2011, it announced that since there is oversupply of teacher training – no new colleges (for B.Ed etc) shall be allowed to be opened in 15 states.  Also no extra seats will be allowed even in existing colleges.  I located the official public notification from the NCTE and have uploaded it here.

The NCTE, with a view to achieve planned and coordinated development of teacher education system and in order to regulate the growth of teacher education at all levels, has decided, on the basis of state-wise study conducted on ‘Demand and Supply’ of teachers and also in consultation with the State Govts. / UTs, not to accept applications for recognition of teacher training courses including additional intake / increase in seats to the existing recognized courses for the academic session 2012-13 in the following states / UT(s) for the course(s) specified against each :

(lists disallowed 15 states and courses like B.Ed, D.Ed. B.Ped, Shiskha Shastri etc )

What comes next is most invidious.

The above restrictions will not apply in case of Minority Educational Institutions established under Article 30 of the Constitution

But to people on the ground what this meant was :

  • If you are a Hindu you cant start a new teacher training college nor can you increase seats in a college you already run. In all the 15 states listed in the notification Hindus are synonymous with majority community. It is not clear if linguistic minority (non native speakers) are exempt,  in any case the overwhelming majority of approved institutes on the NCMEI website are religious. So Hindu is a precise term. Kerala for example has 3009 minority institutes almost all religious.
  • If you are from other religions – you get to completely ignore this order. You can not only apply for new colleges but that your application will be scrutinized and granted by the NCMEI (Minority body).

The upshot of this order by the NCTE  is simply this :

  • Non minorities are prevented by the state from even participating in the MARKET of spiraling demand for teacher training.

All interpretations of Art 29/30 agree that the provisions do not confer rights to  minorities that  the majority community does not have.  This case is a clear transgression of that doctrine. Now, look at the sorry spectacle educationists present to work around this.

He cited the instance of an institute that had sought minority status on the ground that the promoter was a Sikh by birth, who had removed his hair and turban. When complaints and counter-complaints came about the institute, he said, all records were verified. “Even UP government’s minority affairs department said promoters were minority,” he said. However, NCMEI sources point out that ever since National Council for Teacher Education banned opening of new institutions imparting B.Ed courses except by minorities, many promoters are claiming they belong to minority community and have even produced certificate to back their claims. In some cases from Uttar Pradesh it was noticed that the promoters said they have converted to Christianity and in few other cases even to Buddhism. ”

Source: TOI

The so called secular state has used its coercive powers to make people of one religion fall over each other pretending to be of another religion and groveling before a statutory body drawn from selected religions.

Every phrase in the above sentence has no place in a modern liberal democracy.

Jai Hind !!

2 Responses

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  1. […] related to education BTW was blocked by GOI in the spate of bans following Assam violence… Is your religion “approved” for running a training institute ? First, lets look at a news item I have been wanting to blog about for a while. I had to put it […]

  2. jitenderkhurana said, on November 29, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Kindly check in your in article whether its wrong. Refer above-“All interpretations of Art 29/30 agree that the provisions do not confer rights to minorities that the majority community does not have.” Is it typed correctly or it should be “All interpretations of Art 29/30 agree that the provisions confer rights to minorities that the majority community does not have.

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