Minority institutions: India

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Court verdicts

“Religious minority rank list” for admission to professional colleges

TN: 2022

February 16, 2022: The Times of India

Chennai: Tamil Nadu has released a “religious minority rank list” for MBBS admissions to three Christian minority self-financing medical colleges — Christian Medical College, Madha Medical College and Panimalar Medical College — the first time any state has done so, reports Pushpa Narayan. 
The state selection panel has told minority institutions that admissions to 35%50% of seats they surrender will be made based on NEET scores and 69% reservation. For remaining seats, those from respective minority rank list will be first admitted.

‘Some colleges never admitted students from minority pool’

After that, students from the common merit pool will be before accommodated, selection committee secretary Dr P Vasanthamani said. The list, now available on the state selection committee website, will be updated based on fresh applications from Tamil Nadu students.

The committee took this step after it found some colleges have never admitted students from the minority pool for several years, while some others predetermine the number of minority students they can take. Of the 17 self-financing colleges under the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University, nine are minority colleges.

The minority colleges put 35%-50% of seats into the state’s merit pool, compared to 50% given by non-minority institutions. There are five Telugu minority institutions, one Malayalam minority institution and three Christian minority institutions in TN.

In 2020-21, only five colleges surrendered seats to the state for admission through merit. As for admission to CMC Vellore, Vasanthamani said that until now nearly 85% of seats were being filled by the selection committee based on the minority rank list prepared by the college. For 2021 admissions, the rank list for 70% of students will be drawn from the Christian minority list prepared by the Tamil Nadu government, she said.

Teachers’ appointment

Govt. can appoint at aided institutions

Amit Anand Choudhary, January 6, 2020: The Times of India

NEW DELHI: In an important judgement which could have bearing on running of all government-aided minority educational institutions across the country, the Supreme Court on Monday held that such institutions cannot claim to have absolute right in deciding appointment of teachers and it can be regulated by a government to ensure excellence in imparting education.

A bench of Justices Arum Mishra and U U Lalit upheld constitutional validity of West Bengal Madrassas Service Commission Act, 2008, under which the selection and appointment of teachers in madrassas are to be decided by a commission. It set aside Calcutta high court verdict declaring various provision of the law unconstitutional for being violative of Article 30 which says all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

Holding that good quality of education cannot be compromised in national interest irrespective of whether it is minority or majority educational institutions, the apex court ruled that the government decision to put a regulatory mechanism for appointment of teachers did not amount to interfering with the administration of minority institutions as held by the HC.

Differentiating between secular and religious education, the bench said that the management of minority institution could be given “maximum latitude” in taking a decision as they are the best judges of what would help them in protecting and preserving the heritage, culture, script or such special features or characteristics of the concerned minorities.

“However, when it comes to the second category, the governing criteria must be to see to it that the most conducive atmosphere is put in place where the institution achieves excellence and imparts best possible education....If the subjects in the curriculum are purely secular in character, that, is to say, subjects like Arithmetic, Algebra, Physics, Chemistry or Geography, the intent must be to impart education availing the best possible teachers,”the bench said.

Referring to 11-Judge bench verdict by SC in TMA Pai Foundation case, the bench said that a balance be kept between two objectives - one to ensure the standard of excellence of the institution and the other preserving the right of the minorities to establish and administer their educational institutions. “The essence of Article 30(1) was also stated – to ensure equal treatment between the majority and the minority institutions and that rules and regulations would apply equally to the majority institutions as well as to the minority institutions,”it said.

“Thus, going by the decision of eleven Judges of this Court, so long as the principles laid down therein are satisfied, it is permissible if any regulations seek to ensure the standard of excellence of the institutions while preserving the right of the minorities to establish and administer their educational institutions,”it said.

The court passed the order on a batch of petitions filed state and teachers who were appointed under the new law challenging HC verdict. As their recruitment under the law became invalid after HC verdict, they approached SC through lawyer M R Shamshad and the state contended that the law did not interfere day-to-day administration of Madarsas but it was just intended to appoint best qualified teachers.

Accepting their plea, the apex court revived the law and allowed the commission to appoint teachers in over 600 Madarsas across the state. It said that HC erred in declaring the law unconstitutional.

“The regime put in place by the State legislature thus ensures that the Commission comprising of experts in the field would screen the talent all across the State, will adopt a fair selection procedure and select the best available talent purely on merit basis, and even while nominating, the interest of the minority institution will also be given due weightage and taken care of. The statutory provisions thus seek to achieve ‘excellence’ in education and also seek to promote the interest of the minority institutions. The provisions satisfy the test as culled out in the decision,”it said.

Delivering the judgement in 2017, the HC had held that the law took away the right conferred by the Constitution that minorities will administer institutions according to their choice. “The right of the Commission to select and recommend teachers for these institutions in a very major way interferes with the right to administer those institutions rendering a constitutional mandate virtually ineffective. The perception of a prevailing social reality cannot circumvent a constitutional protection,” the HC had said.

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