Directorate of Minority Welfare
Directorate of Minority Welfare

Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission recommendations

Criteria for identifying socially and economically backward classes among the religious and linguistic minorities

16.15. We recommend that in the matter criteria for identifying backward classes there should be absolutely no discrimination whatsoever between the majority community and the minorities; and, therefore, the criteria now applied for this purpose to the majority community — whatever that criteria may be – must be unreservedly applied also to allthe minorities.

16.15. As a natural corollary to the aforesaid recommendation we recommend that all those classes, sections and groups among the minorities should be treated as backward whose counterparts in the majority community are regarded as backward under the present scheme of things.

16.18. To be more specific, we recommend that all those social and vocational groups among the minorities who but for their religious identity would have been covered by the present net of Scheduled Castes should be unquestionably treated as socially backward, irrespective of whether the religion of those other communities recognises the caste system or not.

16.19. We also recommend that those groups among the minorities whose counterparts in the majority community are at present covered by the net of Scheduled Tribes should also be included in that net; and also, more specifically, members of the minority communities living in any Tribal Area from pre-independence days should be so included irrespective of their ethnic characteristics.

Term of Reference No. II (original)

 Measures of Welfare for Minorities including Reservation

 General welfare measures

A. Educational measures

16.2.4 As the meaning and scope of Article 30 of the Constitution has become quite uncertain, complicated and diluted due to their varied and sometimes conflicting judicial interpretations, we recommend that a comprehensive law should be enacted without delay to detail all aspects of minorities, educational rights under that provision with a view to reinforcing its original dictates in letter and spirit.

16.2.5 The statute of the National Minority Educational Institute Commission should be amended to make it wide-based in its composition, powers, functions and responsibilities and to enable it to work as the watchdog for a meticulous enforcement of all aspects of minorities, educational rights under the Constitution.

16.2.6 As by the force of judicial decisions the minority intake in minority educational institutions has, in the interest o f national integration, been restricted to about 50%, thus virtually earmarking the remaining 50% or so for the majority community – we strongly recommend that, by the same analogy and for the same purpose, at least 15% seats in all non-minority educational institutions should be earmarked by law for the minorities as follows: -

(a) The break up within the recommended 15% earmarked seats in institutions shall be 10% for the Muslims (commensurate with their 73% share of the former in the total minority population at the national level) and the remaining 5 % for the other minorities.

(b) Minor adjustments inter se can be made in the 15% earmarked seats. In the case of non-availability of Muslim candidates to fill 10% earmarked seats, the remaining vacancies may be given to the other minorities if their members are available over and above their share of 5%; but in no case shall any seat within the recommended 15% go to the majority community.

(c) As is the case with the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes at present those minority community candidates who can compete with others and secure admission on their own merit shall not be included in these 15% earmarked seats.

16.2.7 As regards the backward sections among all the minorities, we recommend that the concessions now available in terms of lower eligibility criteria for admission and lower rate of fee, now available to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, should be extended also to such sections among the minorities.

16.2.8 In respect of the Muslims – who are the largest minority at the national level with a countrywide presence and yet educationally the most backward of the religious communities – we recommend certain exclusive measures as follows: —

(i) Select institutions in the country like the AligarhMuslimUniversity and the Jamia Millia Islamia should be legally given a special responsibility to promote education at all levels to Muslim students by taking all possible steps for this purpose. At least one such institution should be selected for this purpose in each of those states and Union Territories, which has a substantial Muslim population.

(v) In the funds to be distributed by the Maulana Azad Educational Foundation a suitable portion should be earmarked for the Muslims proportionate to their share in the total minority population. Out of this portion funds should be provided not only to the existing Muslim institutions but also for setting up new institutions from nursery to the highest level and for technical and vocational education anywhere in India but especially in the Muslim-concentration areas.

(vi) Anganwaris, Navoday Vidyalayas and other similar institutions should be opened under their respective schemes especially in each of the Muslim-concentration areas and Muslim families be given suitable incentives to send their children to such institutions.

16.2.9 As regards the linguistic minorities, we recommend the following measures:-

(a) The law relating to the Linguistic Minorities Commissioner should be amended so as to make this office responsible for ensuring full implementation of all the relevant Constitutional provisions for the benefit of each such minority in all the States and Union Territories.

(b) The three-language formula should be implemented everywhere in the country making it compulsory for the authorities to includes in it the mother-tongue of every child – including, especially, Urdu and Punjabi – and all necessary facilities, financial and logistic, should be provided by the State for education in accordance with this dispensation.

B. Economic measures

16.2.10 As many minorities groups specialize in certain household and small scale industries, we recommend that an effective mechanism should be adopted to work for the development and modernization of all such industries and for a proper training of artisans and workmen among the minorities – especially among the Muslims among whom such industries, artisans and workmen are in urgent need of developmental assistance.

16.2.11 As the largest minority of the country, the Muslims, as also some other minorities have a scant or weak presence in the agrarian sector, we recommend that special schemes should be formulated for the promotion and development of agriculture, agronomy and agricultural trade among them.

16.2.12 We further recommend that effective ways should be adopted to popularize andpromote all the self-employment and income-generating schemes among the minorities and to encourage them to benefit form such schemes.

16.2.13 We recommend that the rules, regulations and processes of the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation be overhauled on a priority basis – in the light of the recent report recently submitted by the NMDF Review Committee and in consultation with the National Commission for Minorities – with a view to making it more efficient, effective and far-reaching among the minorities.

16.2.14 We further recommend that a 15% share be earmarked for the minorities – with a break-up of 10% for the Muslim (commensurate with their 73% share of the former in the total minority population at the national level) – and 5% for the other minorities in all government schemes like Rural Employment Generation Programme, Prime Minister’ s Rozgar Yojana, Grameen Rozgar Yojana, etc. 

Reservation

16.2.15 Since the minorities – especially the Muslims – are very much under-represented, and sometimes wholly unrepresented, in government employment, we recommend that they should be regarded as backward in this respect within the meaning of that term as used in Article 16 (4) of the Constitution – notably without qualifying the word ‘backward’ with the words “socially and educationally” –and that 15% of posts in all cadres and grades under the Central and State Governments should be earmarked for them as follows:-

(a) The break up within the recommended 15% shall be 10% for the Muslims (commensurate with their 73% share of the former in the total minority population at the national level) and the remaining 5% for the other minorities.

(b) Minor adjustment inter se can be made within the 15% earmarked seats. In the case of non-availability of Muslims to fill 10% earmarked seats, the remaining vacancies may be given to other minorities if their members are available over and above their share of 5%; but in no case shall any seat within the recommended 15% go to the majority community.

16.2.16 Should there be some insurmountable difficulty in implementing this recommendation, as an alternative we recommend that since according to the Mandal Commission Report the minorities constitute 8.4% of the total OBC population, in the 27% OBC quota an 8.4% sub -quota should be earmarked for the minorities with an internal break-up of 6% for the Muslims (commensurate with their 73% share in the total minority population at the national level) and 2.4% for the other minorities with minor adjustment inter se in accordance with population of various minorities in various States & UTs.

16.2.17 We further recommend that the reservation now extended to the Scheduled Tribes, which is a religion-neutral class, should be carefully examined to assess the extent of minority presence in it and remedial measures should be initiated to correct the imbalance if any.

16.2.18 We recommend that the judicial reservation recently expressed in several case about the continued inclusion of the creamy layer in various classes enjoying reservation, inclusive of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, should be seriously considered for acceptance as a State policy.

Additional Term of Reference

Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950.

16.3.4 We recommend that Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 – which originally restricted the Scheduled Caste net to the Hindus and later opened it to Sikhs and Buddhists, thus still excluding from its purview the Muslims, Christians, Jains and Parsis, etc. – should be wholly deleted by appropriate action so as to completely delink Scheduled Caste status from religion and make the Scheduled Castes net fully religion-neutral like that of the Scheduled Tribes.

16.3.5 We further recommend that all those groups and classes among the Muslims and Christians, etc. whose counterparts among the Hindus, Sikhs or Buddhists, are included in the Central or State Scheduled Castes lists should also be covered by the Scheduled Caste net. If any such group or class among the Muslims and Christians, etc. is now included in an OBC list, it should be deleted from there while transferring it to the Scheduled Castes.

16.3.6 We further recommend that as the Constitution of India guarantees freedom of conscience and religious freedom as a Fundamental Right, once a person has been included in a Scheduled Caste list a willful change of religion on his part should not effect adversely his or her Scheduled Caste status.

Term of Reference No. III (original)

Modalities for implementing our recommendations

16.4.2 We recommend that all Central and State Acts, Statutory Rules and Regulations be suitably amended to implement those of our recommendations which in the opinion of the Ministry of Law and Justice or any another concerned authority may require such amendments.

16.4.3 We recommend the following legislative actions which in our opinion are required either for the implementation of some of our recommendations stated above or otherwise in the interest of the welfare of minorities: -

(a) Enactment of a detailed law to enforce the dictates Article 30 of the Constitution;

(b) Amendment of the National Commission for Backward Classes Act 1993;

(c) Amendment of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order 1951 as also of the Central and State lists of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes;

(d) Review of the laws and rules, processes and procedures, relating to selection and notification of OBC at the Central and State levels:-

(e) Enactment of a law to clothe with statutory status and judicial enforceability the Prime Minister’s 15-Point Programme for Minorities 1983 as modified in 2006;

(f) Amendment of the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992 and the National Commission for Educational Institutions Act 2004 so as to make it necessary for the government to appoint as the chairpersons and members of these bodies – through a Search Committee as in the case of the National Human Rights Commission – only reputed experts in the constitutional, legal, educational and economic matters relating to the minorities;

(g) Necessary amendments in the Wakf Act 1993 and all the Rules framed under its provisions;

(h) Review and necessary overhaul of the laws, rules, regulations, procedures and processes relating to the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation and the Maulana Azad Education Foundation.

16.4.4 We recommend the following administrative measures which in our opinion are required either for the implementation of some or our recommendations or otherwise in the interest of the welfare of minorities: —

(a) Establishment of a Parliamentary Committee to consider and decide in the light of the Constitution policy matters relating to the minorities;

(b) Establishment of a National Committee consisting of Chairpersons of NHRC, NCW, NCBC, NCSC, NCM, NCMEI, NMDFC, CLM, Central Wakf Council and Maulana Azad Foundation along with nominated experts for monitoring the educational and economic development of he minorities;

(c) Creation of similar bodies in all the States/UTs for the same purpose and consisting of local top-level officials dealing with minority-related matters and independent experts;

(d) Establishment of a National-level Coordination Committee consisting of representatives of all the nationalized banks and other financial institutions to work under the RBI for monitoring credit flow to the minorities;

(e) Establishment of State Minorities Commission and Minority Welfare Departments in all those States and UTs where these do not exist as of now;

(f) Decentralization of all minority-related schemes programmes and plans so as to create suitable district-level mechanisms for their day-to-day implementation;

(g) Revision of the list of Minority Concentration Districts as suggested by the NCM in 1990s and initiating special educational, economic and general welfare measures there through the local administration;

(h) Appointment of Minority Welfare Committees consisting of official and local experts in all districts of the country to act as the nodal agencies of NCM, State Minorities Commission and all other Central and State-level bodies working for the minorities.

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Directorate of Minority Welfare



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