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Jamia Millia Islamia likely to lose minority institution tag: Centre set to reverse 2011 stance

The Centre is set to withdraw the minority status accorded to Jamia Millia Islamia, a prominent educational institute in Delhi, according to a report in The Indian Express.

The report said that the government will reverse its earlier position supporting the 87-year-old institute as a "minority institution" by filing a fresh affidavit in the Delhi High Court.

The Centre will tell the high court that Jamia Millia Islamia cannot be declared a minority institution as it receives funding from the government and was set up by an Act of Parliament, The Indian Express report added.

The campus of Jamia Millia Islamia. Image courtesy:

The campus of Jamia Millia Islamia. Image courtesy:

In 2011, the UPA government supported an order by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) declaring Jamia Millia Islamia as a "minority institution".

The government had first raised the issue over Jamia Millia Islamia's minority status in January 2016, when then Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi advised the HRD ministry that it could change its stance based on the Azeez Basha versus Union of India case.

In the 1968 case, the Supreme Court observed that Aligarh Muslim University was not a minority institution as it was established by the British and not by the Muslim community.

However, a 1981 bill declared AMU a minority institution. This was challenged in the Allahabad High Court, which in 2005, declared the bill passed by Parliament as unconstitutional. But AMU went to the Supreme Court, which stayed the high court order.

In January 2016, the Centre told the Supreme Court that the 140 year-old university cannot be deemed a "minority institution".

According to a report in The Financial Express, scholars are divided over the issue.

While some believe that the minority tag hinders the chances of many a deserving student to enter good institutions, other says that according to the Constitution, institutions are allowed to seek the minority seek the minority tag, according to the report.

Updated Date: Aug 07, 2017 14:03 PM

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