Minority is Not Defined in the Constitution

This article is written by Faisal Ali, a 2nd-year student of Lovely Professional University, Phagwara (Punjab). this article is dealing with article 29 of the Indian Constitution.


The concept of “minorities” is not defined in the constitution, but a conclusion can be drawn from Article 30(1). Article 30(1) talks about linguistic and religious minorities. Minorities were defined on the basis of language and religion. Protection of minority interests is a fundamental right guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution of India.

In the case of Islamic Academy of Education v/s State of Karnataka, the Supreme Court held that to determine whether a particular group belongs to a minority or not, certain factors such as language, economic background, social background, cultural and religious basis and political representation are to be explored. The court further ruled that it is the right of minorities to establish and manage educational institutions.

In re Kerala Education Bill, the Court dealt with one of the important issues of minorities. The court said that any community that is less than fifty per cent of the total population of the state can be declared a minority under Article 30 (ie the right to establish and administer educational institutions). Article 29(i) of the Constitution of India protects the cultural and educational rights of minorities. The right guaranteed by Article 29 is twofold – firstly, it protects the right of any section of citizens to protect their distinct language, script or culture; and secondly, it ensures that citizens cannot be prevented from being admitted to any educational institution which is controlled by the State or denied funds from the State on the basis of religion, caste, language, race or any of them.

T.M.A Pai foundation versus State of Karnataka

Facts of the case

The Academy of General Education was an educational institution founded by Dr t m a Pi in 1942 in Madras but after the reorganization of the states the institution became a part of the Karnataka state and under the name of this institution several institutions were established including the Manipal engineering college trust for the establishment and management of the Manipal Institute of Technology 2. potential trust in the selection process for the promotion of the Kari language and for the courage and bravery of the language-speaking students later to the trustees of the Engineering College to transfer the ownership of the college to TMA part of the trust first position, which was created in memory of Dr. t m and Pi the Governor of Karnataka from the greater and order called Karnataka Educational Institutions Ordinance 1984 to prevent the educational institution from charging high amounts in the name of fees which the state government also passed and ordered to determine the total number and income of students and also and to represent a fixed percentage of seats as government seats, then include the college in the minority category and add a private educational institution because it was not accepting any 8 from the state challenging the 1984 order and the state order dividing the set into which it is divided On the basis that the government the regulation is the administration of education and the situation in the French minority to the establishment and administration of education.


  • Problems Is there any provision according to which an educational institution can be established and managed or not?
  • Will minorities weather being religious or linguistic be decided on a state or countrywide basis?
  • To what extent can the government impose restrictions on the administration of minority-supported and non-supported institutions?


In this case, Panel 11 dealt with several issues concerning the autonomy of private minority educational institutions.

The Supreme Court decided that all citizens have the right to establish and manage educational institutions according to Article 19 paragraph 1 letter g),26 and minorities according to Article 30, but these rights are not absolute rights.

The court by dealing with the question of how it would be decided or who the minorities are, since their definition of minorities in the constitution held is not that the religious and linguistic minority would be decided on the basis of the states.

The court on the issue of interference by the weather states in the administration of an administered minority private educational facility in violation of Article 30(1) with the constitutional right under Article 30(1) to the administrator and the educational institution of their choice need not defend against the claims of the states that insist, that in order to grant it, the State may precisely lay down reasonable regulation to ensure the excellence of the institutions.

In the case of non-added minorities, regulatory measures by the state should be minimal. The fee structure for the administrative review of the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff would be beyond the control of the government.

In the case of added minority institutions, the government can introduce regulations but these should be reasonable restrictions and also the government cannot interfere in the day-to-day management of the added minority private educational institutions.

If admitted, the minority non-state educational institution may admit and select students of its own choice, but the selection process must be fair and transparent.

Minority educational institutions also have the right to admit students belonging to their community on the basis of merit, but they must admit a reasonable number of non-minority students, and the reasonable number will be decided by the respective states.


In a free democracy like India, minorities should never feel oppressed. To sum up it can be said that the obligations of the constitution to protect the rights of minorities from operation wardens discrimination matters a lot. Mahatma Gandhi once rightly said that the civilized nature of a country should not be judged by the way it treats minorities. Though the record of India in this change since independence does not appear to be satisfactory we still wish that democratic ideas in the preamble of the Indian Constitution will someday be a reality for m

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