Why in News?
The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has decided to approach the government for granting it Constitutional status to protect the rights of minority communities more effectively.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
About the Commission
The Union Government set up the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. Six religious communities -Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains have been notified as minority communities by the Union Government.
i)Evaluate the progress of the development of Minorities under the Union and States.
ii)Monitor the working of the safeguards provided in the Constitution and in laws enacted by Parliament and the State Legislatures.
iii)Make recommendations for the effective implementation of safeguards for the protection of the interests of Minorities by the Central Government or the State Governments.
iv)Look into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Minorities and take up such matters with the appropriate authorities.
v)Cause studies to be undertaken into problems arising out of any discrimination against Minorities and recommend measures for their removal.
vi)Conduct studies, research and analysis on the issues relating to socio-economic and educational development of Minorities.
vii)Suggest appropriate measures in respect of any Minority to be undertaken by the Central Government or the State Governments.
viii)Make periodical or special reports to the Central Government on any matter pertaining to Minorities and in particular the difficulties confronted by them.
the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment (2017-18), in its 53rd report, noted that the NCM is “almost ineffective” in its current state to deal with cases of atrocities against minorities. The committee recommended constitutional status to the body “without any delay”.
If granted such a status, the NCM will be able to act against errant officials who do not attend hearings, follow its order or are found guilty of dereliction of duty
UN Declaration of 18th December 1992
In order to strengthen the cause of the minorities, the United Nations promulgated the “Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities” on 18th December 1992 proclaiming that:
“States shall protect the existence of the National or Ethnic, Cultural, Religious and Linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories and encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity.”
The National Commission for Minorities has been observing the 18th December as a Minorities Rights Day every year.
NOTE4STUDENTS-Constitution of India doesn’t define the word ‘Minority’ but has used the word minorities considering two attributes religion or language of a person.