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Home > Know Your Rights > Cultural and Education Rights
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Q1.  What are Cultural and Education Rights?

A1.  Cultural and Educational rights are the fundamental rights granted by the Constitution of India to the minority groups in India. These rights seek to protect the rights of the minorities and aims at conserving their distinct culture and language.


Q2.  What are minorities?

A2.  Although the term minority has not been defined anywhere in the Constitution of Indi a or any other law book, but minority  means that group of people who constitute less than 50% of India’s population. Here a minority is recognized not only on the basis of religion but also on the basis of language, script or culture.


Q3.  What was the purpose behind giving cultural and educational rights to minorities?

A3.  India is a country of many religions, languages and cultures. There are a number of people in small groups practicing different religions, speaking different languages and following different cultures. It is important to give protection to their rights in order to preserve their distinct culture and language so that it doesn’t get lost with the passage of time. That is why, any community which has a language and a script of its own has the right to conserve and develop it. So, the main purpose of these provisions is to reassure the minorities that certain special interests of theirs which they cherish as fundamental to their life are safe under the Constitution of India.


Q4.  What are the main features of these cultural and educational rights?

A4.  The main features of the cultural and educational rights of the minorities are:

1. All minorities having a distinct culture, language, script or religion are free to protect the same.

2. No citizen can be denied admission in any educational institution maintained by the State on the basis of his religion, culture, language etc.

3. Minorities have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their own choice.

4. In granting aid to institutions, the State cannot discriminate against any institution on the basis of the fact that it is administered by a minority institution.


Q5.  I am a tribal belonging to a small community speaking a different language. Can I set up an educational institution for the benefit of children from my community?

A5.  Yes, under the Cultural and educational rights of minorities, you are free to establish the educational institution for your people in accordance with law. However, the admission could only be through a common entrance test conducted by State or a university. Even an unaided minority institution cannot ignore the merit of the students for admission. The rightdoes not mean that the minority can establish an educational institution solely for the benefit of its own community people.  This means that a minority institution cannot refuse admission to students of other minority and majority communities if they are academically qualified. However, minority educational institutions can reserve a major chunk of seats for students of their community.


Q6.  Can the State regulate the activities of minority education institutions, even if it has not funded them?

A6.  State can interfere in the activities of minority educational institutions in case of maladministration. Also, the State can take regulatory measures to promote the efficiency and excellence of educational standards. It can also issue guidelines for ensuring the security of the services of the teachers or other employees of the institution.  The State can impose reasonable restrictions of a regulatory character for maintaining standards of education and fee structure.


Q7.  Can a minority educational institution claim financial aid from the Government?

A7.  Yes, a minority educational institution is fully eligible to get financial aid from Government. The Government cannot, while granting aid, discriminate against any institution on the basis of the fact that it is administered by a religious or cultural minority. In order to claim financial aid, the minority institution must show that it does not discriminate in giving admission on the basis of religion, caste, sex, language etc.


Q8.  As a person belonging to a minority community, am I eligible to get admission in educational institutions not maintained by my community?

A8.  Yes, it is your fundamental right to get admission in any educational institution in the country, irrespective of your community or language. If you are eligible to get admission and fulfill the admission criteria, you cannot be denied the right to admission merely on the basis that you belong to a minority community.

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