From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : FRs confined to the minority communities
Mains level : Read the attached story
The Supreme Court has held that the state is well within its rights to introduce a regulatory regime in the “national interest” to provide minority educational institutions with well-qualified teachers in order for them to “achieve excellence in education.”
Article 30 is not absolute
- The verdict said that Article 30(1) (right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice) was neither absolute nor above the law.
- The regulatory law should however balance the dual objectives of ensuring standard of excellence as well as preserving the right of the minorities to establish and administer their educational institutions.
- Regulations that embrace and reconcile the two objectives should be reasonable.
- The managements of minority institutions cannot ignore such a legal regime by saying that it is their fundamental right under Article 30.
Serving the national interest
- A regulation framed in the national interest must necessarily apply to all institutions regardless whether they are run by majority or minority as the essence of Article 30(1) is to ensure equal treatment between the majority and minority institutions.
- An objection can certainly be raised if an unfavorable treatment is meted out to an educational institution established and administered by minority.
- But if ensuring of excellence in educational institutions is the underlying principle behind a regulatory regime and the mechanism of selection of teachers is so designed to achieve excellence in institutions, the matter may stand on a completely different footing.
Striking a balance
- The court explains how to strike a “balance” between the two objectives of excellence in education and the preservation of the minorities’ right to run their educational institutions.
- For this, the court broadly divides education into two categories – secular education and education “directly aimed at or dealing with preservation and protection of the heritage, culture, script and special characteristics of a religious or a linguistic minority.”
- When it comes to the latter, the court advocated “maximum latitude” to be given to the management to appoint teachers.
- The court reasons that only “teachers who believe in the religious ideology or in the special characteristics of the concerned minority would alone be able to imbibe in the students admitted in such educational institutions, what the minorities would like to preserve, profess and propagate.”
- However, minority institutions where the curriculum was “purely secular”, the intent must be to impart education availing the best possible teachers.