Concerned that a minority status for Jamia Millia Islamia has meant no reservations for scheduled tribes in admission and employment, the National Commission for Schedules Tribes has asked the government to step in to remedy the situation.
The commission has said that constitutional safeguards for scheduled tribes “should not be diluted through incidental interpretation of laws”. It has asked the human resource development ministry to ensure the “continued reservations” in admission and employment for scheduled tribes in all publicly funded educational institutions.
This recommendation is the outcome of discussions about the fallout of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) order granting a minority status to Jamia Millia Islamia University . A minority status means that the institution is not required to set aside seats for scheduled castes and tribes and other backward classes.
The commission is concerned about the NCMEI’s February order not just about the impact on educational opportunities for scheduled tribes. It is of the view that the February order “dilutes” the constitutional rights of the scheduled tribes as it impinges on reservation in admissions to institutions that are funded by the public exchequer.
Even as a public interest litigation challenging NCMEI’s decision to grant Jamia a minority status is pending before the Delhi HC the commission has suggested amendment to the 2006 reservation law for admissions to centrally-funded education institutions.
It has asked the HRD ministry to amend the law, if necessary, “to bring it squarely in line with constitutional safeguards for STs.” The panel argued that keeping minority institutions outside the purview of reservations, as required by the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission ) Act, 2006, has resulted in greater “difficulties” for scheduled tribes students. Economic Times