Mumbai(dna): The government will examine the records of such institutions which may risk losing their minority tag if found indulging in major violations.
The state willl crack down on educational institutions which acquire minority status and the resultant benefits but do not grant admissions as mandated to students from these social groups. The government will examine the records of such institutions which may risk losing their minority tag if found indulging in major violations.
Maharashtra has 2,472 institutions which have the status of those run by religious and linguistic minorities, and these institutions in turn control a number of schools, colleges and educational bodies. Of these 2,472, a total of 1,060 institutions belong to religious minority groups like Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis and Buddhists, with the remaining 1,472 being linguistic minority bodies (of those who do not have Marathi as their mother tongue).
Revenue and minority development minister Eknath Khadse said that these minority-run trusts are given this status and concessions in return for some conditions. They are supposed to grant admissions to students from that minority group for a minimum of 50% seats with the other 50% going to non-minorities. "In case of linguistic and religious minorities institutions, it is expected that minority students are first granted admissions and then others," said Khadse, adding that however, non-minority students were granted admissions on seats meant for minorities, which is unjust.
He admitted that this had led to complaints leading to the decision to inspect such institutions. "The applications made by minorities must be accepted and admissions granted," said Khadse.
Officials from the minority development department said that the scrutiny would be carried out in case of institutions against whom complaints had been received or where records revealed that students from minority categories had not been granted admissions as was mandated. Khadse said this inspection would be based on complaints or on suo moto basis.
He added that the institutions would be asked to explain their stand as per the principles of natural justice and in case the violations were found to be major, the institutions could lose their minority tag. Those involved in minor lapses would be under scrutiny to see if they mend their ways in the coming times, said Khadse, adding that in some cases, institutions did not seek the government's permissions to admit non-minority students in the 50% quota for minorities.
It was also essential for these institutions to have over 50% trustees and members from the linguistic or religious group that the institution belonged to. Khadse however added that there were a number of schools and colleges run by these institutions where the number of minority directors did not cross the mandated 50%.
Activist Shabbir Ansari of the All India Muslim OBC Organisation welcomed the move. "Some educational institutions acquire the minority status but they do not admit minority students and take in non-minority students instead with the government's permission. This happens for money," alleged Ansari, adding that those found involved in these violations needed to be acted against.