At last, some headstart has been made in reservation for minorities in higher educational institutions. So far, only backwards among minorities got reservation in jobs through 27 per cent OBC quota.
Several states have informed the National Commission for Minority Education Institutions (NCMEI) that they have stipulated a quota of minimum 50 per cent for reservation for minority community in the educational institutions run by minorities. For example, an institution run by Muslims has reserved 50 per cent seats for Muslim students.
Most states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and UP have reserved 50 per cent seats while some like Andhra Pradesh have reserved 70 per cent. In Karnataka, the figure is 60 per cent. "Only there are states like Delhi which have not stipulated any quota for reservation in education institutions run by minorities," a commission official said.
Another exception is Kerala, which is considering district wise identification of minorities, but many minority organisations have moved court against the move.
Invoking reservation in minority run education institutions became imperative after the 93rd Constitutional Amendment notified in January this year exempting minority educational institutions from any reservation for socially and educationally backward classes.
That's not all. The commission has also observed in various orders issued in the last few months that minority educational institutions have a right to admit students and decide on the fee structure.
As per Supreme Court verdict in TM Pai versus State of Karnataka, the minority education institutes can admit students on basis of their own entrance tests, a facility not available to other educational institutions.
The court had also allowed the minority institutions fully autonomy in employment of staff and disciplinary action.
In wake of various Supreme Court judgements and the Constitutional amendment, the commission has asked All India Council for Technical Education and University Grants Commission to set up nodal cells to clear applications from bodies run by minorities to open education institution.
And, the effort appears to have borne fruit as the first Muslim degree college has been opened in Bariapur, West Bengal.