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Change view of minority status: Siddiqui

Staff Reporter
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Not all educational institutions with Muslim managements have the minority status, and anyone with a wrong perception of it should correct themselves, M.S.A. Siddiqui, Chairman of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, said here on Saturday.

He was speaking after inaugurating a seminar on the rights of, and opportunities for, minority educational institutions in the State, organised by the commission, in association with the Kerala Minority Education Cell.

Mr. Siddiqui said the minority status would be given only to those institutions that applied for it with substantial documents.

Only Parliament, the Union government, the commission, and the State governments could clear the applications. No other authority was empowered to do so.

He said the temporary minority-status certificate issued in some States would be invalid, as a fundamental right in the Constitution could not be granted with temporary effect. (Under Article 30, a fundamental right, all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.)

Referring to the low turnout of minority institutions to get various formalities cleared by the commission, Mr. Siddiqui said various minority communities, especially the Muslims, were yet to benefit from a proactive commission. The Christian community, however, had substantially utilised its services.

Advice

He said the minority institutions were entitled to the commission's advice. Complaints of violation of educational rights could be brought to its attention.

Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb presided over the inaugural session. Cyriac Thomas, member of the commission; Sabisthan Gafar, Chairperson of the Committee on Girls' Education; and Social Welfare and Panchayats Minister M.K. Muneer were present.

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