Competitive Exams: Political Science Study Material Minorities Commission
The setting up of Minorities Commission was envisaged in the Ministry of Home Affairs Resolution in 1978, which specifically mentioned that, despite the safeguards provided in the Constitution and the laws in force, there persists among the Minorities a feeling of inequality and discrimination. In order to preserve secular traditions and to promote National Integration, the Government of India attaches the highest importance to the enforcement of the safeguards provided for the Minorities and is of the firm view that effective institutional arrangements are urgently required for the enforcement and implementation of all the safeguards provided for the Minorities in the Constitution, in the Central and State Laws and in the government policies and administrative schemes enunciated from time to time. The Minorities Commission was accordingly set up to safeguard the interests of minorities whether based on religion or language. The Commission was renamed as National Commission for Minorities and the first Statutory Commission was constituted in 1993.
Constitution of the National Commission for Minorities
The Central Government shall constitute a body to be known as the National Commission for Minorities to exercise the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to it under this Act.
The Commission shall consist of a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson and five Members to be nominated by the Central Government from amongst persons of eminence, ability and integrity; Provided that five Members including the Chairperson shall be from amongst the Minority communities.
Functions of the Commission
The Commission shall perform all or any of the following functions, namely:
- evaluate the progress of the development of Minorities under the Union and States
- monitor the working of the safeguards provided in the Constitution and in laws enacted by Parliament and the State Legislatures
- make recommendations for the effective implementation of safeguards for the protection of the interests of Minorities by the Central Government or the State Governments
- look into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Minorities and take up such matters with the appropriate authorities
- cause studies to be undertaken into problems arising out of any discrimination against Minorities and recommend measures for their removal
- conduct studies, research and analysis on the issues relating to socio-economic and educational development of Minorities
- suggest appropriate measures in respect of any Minority to be undertaken by the Central Government or the State Governments
- make periodical or special reports to the Central Government on any matter pertaining to Minorities and in particular the difficulties confronted by them
- any other matter which may be referred to it by the Central Government.