The Maharashtra government has issued notices to 16 minority institutes of higher education across the state, threatening to revoke their minority status. This action comes after the government found that these institutes had flouted norms by not admitting enough minority students.
Of the 16, four are in Mumbai. The Mumbai colleges which have been sent such a notice are KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Lala Lajpatrai College in Mahalaxmi and Father Rodrigues Institute of Management (Agnel Polytechnic), Vashi and Aditya Institute of Management Studies and Research in Borivli.
These notices were sent about 10 days ago and the colleges were given 15 days to explain their position. Sources said that more colleges may be sent similar notices soon.
Educational institutes belonging to religious or linguistic minorities are given the status of minority institutes. According to norms that govern their functioning, 51% of all seats in these institutes have to be reserved for students belonging to the same minority group, which the institute claims to represent.
The minorities department obtained data from the Director of Higher Education and the department of higher and technical education about the intake of minority students in these colleges in the past three years. “Most institutes revealed numbers that were nowhere close to the 51% that they are supposed to admit. We got reports about how many of these would sell these seats and garner donations,” said a minorities department official.
Till last year, the minorities department, through a 2013 circular, had allowed these institutes to induct other minorities, beyond the one the institute represents, if they fail to find enough minorities of the same category. “Despite the relaxation, these colleges couldn’t muster up the numbers, which is surprising,” said an official.
Colleges, meanwhile, are informally conveying to the department that they couldn’t fill 51% of the seats because they couldn’t get enough people.
Ainul Attar, joint secretary of the minorities department confirmed the notice and said they were awaiting responses to them.