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  • #118707 Reply

    Apart from the Safeguards under Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution, a Scheme of
    Safeguards was evolved at all India level from time to time at various fora like the
    Education Ministers’ Conference, 1949; Government of India Memorandum, 1956;
    Southern Zonal Council Decisions, 1959; Chief Ministers’ Conference, 1961 and Meeting
    of the Committee of Vice-Chairmen of Zonal Councils, 1961. The CLM interacts with the
    linguistic minority groups and the States/UTs on all the matters pertaining to the issues concerning the implementation of the constitutional and the nationally agreed Scheme of Safeguards for linguistic minorities.


    #118708 Reply

    Safeguards for Linguistic Minorities

    The States Reorganisation Commission, 1956 (SRC, 1956) felt the provision under Article 350 to submit a representation in any of the languages used in the Union or in the States was not enough to protect the interests of the linguistic minorities and recommended for safeguards for linguistic minorities to learn their mother tongues and to use in the administration. Learning through mother tongue was more important to preserve and develop these minority languages. Accordingly, Article 350A was added to the Constitution through the Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956. Subsequently, a Scheme of Safeguards was evolved at all India level from time to time at various fora like the Education Ministers’ Conference, 1949; Government of India Memorandum, 1956; Southern Zonal Council Decisions, 1959; Chief Ministers’ Conference, 1961 and Meeting of the Committee of Vice-Chairmen of Zonal Councils, 1961 to protect and promote the minority languages through a consensual mechanism. It has been observed that even after several decades most of the States/UTs have not notified the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities. It is, therefore, the States/UTs are urged to notify the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities in their respective States.

    #118709 Reply

    In P.A. Inamdar’s case (supra), which is relevant for our purpose, and reads as follows:

    “125. As per our understanding, neither in the judgment of Pai Foundation [(2002) 8 SCC 481] nor in the Constitution Bench decision in Kerala Education Bill [1959 SCR 995] which was approved by Pai Foundation, is there anything which would allow the State to regulate or control admissions in the unaided professional educational institutions so as to compel them to give up a share of the available seats to the candidates chosen by the State, as if it was filling the seats available to be filled up at its discretion in such private institutions. This would amount to nationalisation of seats which has been specifically disapproved in Pai Foundation [(2002) 8 SCC 481]. Such imposition of quota of State seats or enforcing reservation policy of the State on available seats in unaided professional institutions are acts constituting serious encroachment on the right and autonomy of private professional educational institutions. Such appropriation of seats can also not be held to be a regulatory measure in the interest of the minority within the meaning of Article 30(1) or a reasonable restriction within the meaning of Article 19(6) of the Constitution of India. Merely because the resources of the State in providing professional education are limited, private educational institutions, which intend to provide better professional education, cannot be forced by the State to make admissions available on the basis of reservation policy to less meritorious candidates. Unaided institutions, as they are not deriving any aid from State funds, can have their own admissions if fair, transparent, non-exploitative and based on merit.”

    #118710 Reply

    Article 26(a) and (b) of the Constitution

    “26. The right to establish and maintain educational institutions may also be sourced to Article 26(a), which grants, in positive terms, the right to every religious denomination or any section thereof to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes, subject to public order, morality and health. Education is a recognised head of charity. Therefore, religious denominations or sections thereof, which do not fall within the special categories carved out in Article 29(1) and 30(1), have the right to establish and maintain religious and educational institutions.”

    #118711 Reply

    Christian Medical College … vs Union Of India And Ors (Supreme Court 18 July, 2013)

    The Supreme Court has consistently held that the right to administer an educational institution would also include the right to admit students, which right, in our view, could not be taken away on the basis of Notifications issued by the MCI and the DCI which had no authority, either under the 1956 Act or the 1948 Act, to do so. The MCI and the DCI are creatures of Statute, having been constituted under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and the Dentists Act, 1948, and have, therefore, to exercise the jurisdiction vested in them by the Statutes and they cannot wander beyond the same. Of course, under Section 33 of the 1956 Act and Section 20 of the 1948 Act, power has been reserved to the two Councils to frame Regulations to carry out the purposes of their respective Acts. It is pursuant to such power that the MCI and the DCI has framed the Regulations of 1997, 2000 and 2007, which set the standards for maintaining excellence of medical education in India. The right of the MCI and the DCI to prescribe such standards has been duly recognised by the Courts. However, such right cannot be extended to controlling all admissions to the M.B.B.S., the B.D.S. and the Post-graduate Courses being run by different medical institutions in the country. At best, a certain degree of control may be exercised in regard to aided institutions, where on account of the funds being provided by the Government, it may have a say in the affairs of such institutions.

    #118712 Reply

    In Rev. Sidhajbhai Sabhai and Ors. v. State of Bombay and Anr., (1963) 3 SCR 837, the Court again considered the matter and observed that educational institutions cater to the needs of the citizens or section thereof. Regulation made in the real interests of efficiency of instruction, discipline, health, sanitation, morality, public order, and the like may undoubtedly be imposed. Such regulations are not restrictive on the substance of the right, which is guaranteed, they secure the proper functioning of the institution in the matter of education. It was also observed that regulation must satisfy a dual test ­ the test of reasonableness and that it is regulative of the educational character of the institution and is conducive to making the institution a capable vehicle of education for the minority community or other persons who resort to it. In Rev. Father W. Proost and Ors. v. State of Bihar and Ors., AIR 1969 SC 465, the Court observed thus:

    “8. In our opinion, the width of Article 30(1) cannot be cut down by introducing in it considerations on which Article 29(1) is based. The latter article is a general protection which is given to minorities to conserve their language, script, or culture. The former is a special right to minorities to establish educational institutions of their choice. This choice is not limited to institution seeking to conserve language, script, or culture, and the choice is not taken away if the minority community having established an educational institution of its choice also admits members of other communities. That is a circumstance irrelevant for the application of Article 30(1) since no such limitation is expressed and none can be implied. The two articles create two separate rights, although it is possible that they may meet in a given case.”
    22. In Ahmedabad St. Xavier’s College Society and Anr. v. State of Gujarat and Anr., (1974) 1 SCC 717, a college was run by the minority.

    A Bench of 9­Judges of this Court considered the question whether Sections 40 and 41 of the Gujarat University Act, 1949 violated Section 30, which provided all colleges within the University area would be governed by the statutes of the University which may provide for minimum educational qualifications for teachers and tutorial staff.

    The University may approve the appointments of teachers to coordinate and regulate the facilities provided and expenditure incurred. The Court opined that regulation which serves the interests of the teachers are of paramount importance in good administration, education should be a great cohesive force in developing integrity of the nation, thus:

    “19. The entire controversy centres round the extent of the right of the religious and linguistic minorities to administer their educational institutions. The right to administer is said to consist of four principal matters. First is the right to choose its managing or governing body. It is said that the founders of the minority institution have faith and confidence in their own committee or body consisting of persons elected by them. Second is the right to choose its teachers. It is said that minority institutions want teachers to have compatibility with the ideals, aims, and aspirations of the institution. Third is the right not to be compelled to refuse admission to students. In other words, the minority institutions want to have the right to admit students of their choice subject to reasonable regulations about academic qualifications. Fourth is the right to use its properties and assets for the benefit of its own institution.
    20. The right conferred on the religious and linguistic minorities to administer educational institutions of their choice is not an absolute right. This right is not free from regulation. Just as regulatory measures are necessary for maintaining the educational character and content of minority institutions, similarly, regulatory measures are necessary for ensuring orderly, efficient, and sound administration. Das, C.J., in the Kerala Education Bill case (supra) 1959 SCR 995: AIR 1958 SC 956, summed up in one sentence the true meaning of the right to administer by saying that the right to administer is not the right to mal­administer.

    1. Educational institutions are temples of learning. The virtues of human intelligence are mastered and harmonised by education. Where there is complete harmony between the teacher and the taught, where the teacher imparts and the student receives, where there is complete dedication of the teacher and the taught in learning, where there is discipline between the teacher and the taught, where both are worshippers of learning, no discord or challenge will arise. An educational institution runs smoothly when the teacher and the taught are engaged in the common ideal of pursuit of knowledge. It is, therefore, manifest that the appointment of teachers is an important part in educational institutions. The qualifications and the character of the teachers are really important. The minority institutions have the right to administer institutions. This right implies the obligation and duty of the minority institutions to render the very best to the students. In the right of administration, checks, and balances in the shape of regulatory measures are required to ensure the appointment of good teachers and their conditions of service. The right to administer is to be tempered with regulatory measures to facilitate smooth administration. The best administration will reveal no trace or colour of minority. A minority institution should shine in exemplary eclectism in the administration of the institution. The best compliment that can be paid to a minority institution is that it does not rest on or proclaim its minority character.
    #118713 Reply

     In Frank Anthony Public School Employees’ Association v. Union of India and others, (1986) 4 SCC 707, question arose whether teachers and other employees working in an unaided school were entitled to same pay­scale, allowances, and benefits. The Court allowed the petition and opined thus:

    “16. The excellence of the instruction provided by an institution would depend directly on the excellence of the teaching staff, and in turn, that would depend on the quality and the contentment of the teachers. Conditions of service pertaining to minimum qualifications of teachers, their salaries, allowances and other conditions of service which ensure security, contentment and decent living standards to teachers and which will consequently enable them to render better service to the institution and the pupils cannot surely be said to be violative of the fundamental right guaranteed by Article 30(1) of the Constitution. The management of a minority Educational Institution cannot be permitted under the guise of the fundamental right guaranteed by Article 30(1) of the Constitution, to oppress or exploit its employees any more than any other private employee. Oppression or exploitation of the teaching staff of an educational institution is bound to lead, inevitably, to discontent and deterioration of the standard of instruction imparted in the institution affecting adversely the object of making the institution an effective vehicle of education for the minority community or other persons who resort to it. The management of minority institution cannot complain of invasion of the fundamental right to administer the institution when it denies the members of its staff the opportunity to achieve the very object of Article 30(1) which is to make the institution an effective vehicle of education.” (emphasis supplied)
    25. In Bihar State Madarasa Education Board, Patna v. Madarasa Hanfia Arabic College, Jamalia and others, (1990) 1 SCC 428, the Court held that minorities have the right to establish and administer educational institution of their own choice. Still, they have no right to maladminister, and the State has the power to regulate the management and administration of such institutions in the interest of educational need and discipline of the institution. The Court held thus:

    “6. The question which arises for consideration is whether Section 7(2)(n) which confers power on the Board to dissolve the Managing Committee of an aided and recognised Madarasa institution violates the minorities constitutional right to administer its educational institution according to their choice. This Court has all along held that though the minorities have right to establish and administer educational institution of their own choice but they have no right to maladminister and the State has power to regulate management and administration of such institutions in the interest of educational need and discipline of the institution. Such regulation may have indirect effect on the absolute right of minorities but that would not violate Article 30(1) of the Constitution as it is the duty of the State to ensure efficiency in educational institutions. The State has, however, no power to completely take over the management of a minority institution. Under the guise of regulating the educational standards to secure efficiency in institution, the State is not entitled to frame rules or regulations compelling the management to surrender its right of administration. In State of Kerala v. Very Rev. Mother Provincial, (1970) 2 SCC 417, Section 63(1) of the Kerala University Act, 1969 which conferred power on the government to take over the management of a minority institution on its default in carrying out the directions of the State Government was declared ultra vires on the ground that the provisions interfered with the constitutional right of a minority to administer its institution. Minority institutions cannot be allowed to fall below the standard of excellence on the pretext of their exclusive right of management but at the same time their constitutional right to administer their institutions cannot be completely taken away by superseding or dissolving Managing Committee or by appointing ad hoc committees in place thereof. In the instant case Section 7(2)(n) is clearly violative of constitutional right of minorities under Article 30(1) of the Constitution insofar as it provides for dissolution of Managing Committee of a Madarasa. We agree with the view taken by the High Court.” (emphasis supplied)
    26. In St. Stephen’s College v. University of Delhi, (1992) 1 SCC 558, concerning admission process adopted by aided minority institutions, various questions were raised thus:

    “41. It was contended that St. Stephen’s College after being affiliated to the Delhi University has lost its minority character. The argument was based on some of the provisions in the Delhi University Act and the Ordinances made thereunder. It was said that the students are admitted to the University and not to the College as such. But we find no substance in the contention. In the first place, it may be stated that the State or any instrumentality of the State cannot deprive the character of the institution, founded by a minority community by compulsory affiliation since Article 30(1) is a special right to minorities to establish educational institutions of their choice. The minority institution has a distinct identity and the right to administer with continuance of such identity cannot be denied by coercive action. Any such coercive action would be void being contrary to the constitutional guarantee. The right to administer is the right to conduct and manage the affairs of the institution. This right is exercised by a body of persons in whom the founders have faith and confidence. Such a management body of the institution cannot be displaced or reorganised if the right is to be recognised and maintained. Reasonable regulations however, are permissible but regulations should be of regulatory nature and not of abridgment of the right guaranteed under Article 30(1).

    #118714 Reply

    In Secretary, Malankara Syrian Catholic College v. T. Jose and Ors., (2007) 1 SCC 386, Court considered T.M.A. Pai Foundation (supra), and held that all laws made by the State to regulate the administration of educational institutions and grant of aid will apply to minority educational institutions also, but dilution of right under Article 30 is not permissible. The right under Article 30 is not above the law. The regulations or conditions concerning the welfare of the students and teachers should be made applicable to provide a proper academic atmosphere.

    #118715 Reply

    In P.A. Inamdar case, apex Court noted the difference between professional and non­professional educational institutions. It observed that professional educational institutions constitute a class by themselves and are distinguished from educational institutions imparting non­ professional education. With respect to unaided minority educational institutions, Article 30 of the Constitution does not come in the way of the State stepping in for the purpose of securing transparency and recognition of merit in the matter of admissions, and the conditions of recognition are binding on such institutions. In P.A. Inamdar (supra), the Court opined that the admissions based on merit were in the national interest and strengthening the national welfare.

    #118716 Reply

    The rights under Articles 19(1)(g) and 30 read with Articles 25, 26 and 29(1) of the Constitution of India do not come in the way of securing transparency and recognition of merits in the matter of admissions. It is open to regulating the course of study, qualifications for ensuring educational standards. It is open to imposing reasonable restrictions in the national and public interest.

    The rights under Article 19(1)(g) are not absolute and are subject to reasonable restriction in the interest of the student’s community to promote merit, recognition of excellence, and to curb the malpractices.

    Uniform Entrance Test qualifies the test of proportionality and is reasonable. The same is intended to check several maladies which crept into medical education, to prevent capitation fee by admitting students which are lower in merit and to prevent exploitation, profiteering, and commercialisation of education. The institution has to be a capable vehicle of education. The minority institutions are equally bound to comply with the conditions imposed under the relevant Acts and Regulations to enjoy affiliation and recognition, which apply to all institutions. In case they have to impart education, they are bound to comply with the conditions which are equally applicable to all. The regulations are necessary, and they are not divisive or disintegrative. Such regulatory measures enable institutions to administer them efficiently. There is no right given to maladminister the education derogatory to the national interest. The quality of medical education is imperative to sub­serve the national interest, and the merit cannot be compromised. The Government has the right for providing regulatory measures that are in the national interest, more so in view of Article 19(6) of the Constitution of India.

    1. The rights of the religious or linguistic minorities under Article 30 are not in conflict with other parts of the Constitution. Balancing the rights is constitutional intendment in the national and more enormous public interest. Regulatory measures cannot be said to be exceeding the concept of limited governance. The regulatory measures in question are for the improvement of the public health and is a step, in furtherance of the directive principles enshrined in Articles 47 and 51(A)(j) and enable the individual by providing full opportunity in pursuance of his objective to excel in his pursuit. The rights to administer an institution under Article 30 of the Constitution are not above the law and other Constitutional provisions. Reasonable regulatory measures can be provided without violating such rights available under Article 30 of the Constitution to administer an institution. Professional educational institutions constitute a class by themselves. Specific measures to make the administration of such institutions transparent can be imposed. The rights available under Article 30 are not violated by provisions carved out in Section 10D of the MCI Act and the Dentists Act and Regulations framed by MCI/DCI. The regulatory measures are intended for the proper functioning of institutions and to ensure that the standard of education is maintained and does not fall low under the guise of an exclusive right of management to the extent of maladministration. The regulatory measures by prescribing NEET is to bring the education within the realm of charity which character it has lost. It intends to weed out evils from the system and various malpractices which decayed the system. The regulatory measures in no way interfere with the rights to administer the institution by the religious or linguistic minorities.
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