The setting up of Minorities Commission was envisaged in the Ministry of Home Affairs Resolution dated 12.01.1978 which specifically mentioned that, "despite the safeguards provided in the Constitution and the laws in force, there persists among the Minorities a feeling of inequality and discrimination. In order to preserve secular traditions and to promote National Integration the Government of India attaches the highest importance to the enforcement of the safeguards provided for the Minorities and is of the firm view that effective institutional arrangements are urgently required for the enforcement and implementation of all the safeguards provided for the Minorities in the Constitution, in the Central and State Laws and in the government policies and administrative schemes enunciated from time to time. Some time in 1984 the Minorities Commission was detached from Ministry of Home Affairs and placed under the newly created Ministry of Welfare.
2. National Commission for Minorities
With the enactment of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, the Minorities Commission became a statutory body and renamed as National Commission for Minorities.
2.1 The first Statutory National Commission was set up on 17th May 1993. Vide a Gazette notification issued on 23rd October 1993 by Ministry of Welfare, Government of India, five religious communities viz; the Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) were notified as minority
communities. Further vide notified detail 27th Jan 2014, Jains
have also been notified as minority community. As per the 2001 Census, these
six religious minority communities constitute 18.80% of the country’s population.
2.2 Functions of NCM
As per Section 9(1) of the NCM At, 1992, the Commission is required to perform following functions:-
(a) evaluation of the progress of the development of minorities under the Union and States;
(b) monitoring of the working of the safeguards for minorities provided in the Constitution and in laws enacted by Parliament and the State Legislatures;
(c) making recommendations for the effective implementation of safeguards for the protection of the interests of minorities by the Central Government or the State Governments;
(d) looking into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights and safeguards of minorities and taking up such matters with the appropriate authorities;
(e) getting studies to be undertaken into the problems arising out of any discrimination against minorities and recommending measures for their removal;
(f) conducting studies, research and analysis on the issues relating to socio-economic and educational development of minorities;
(g) suggesting appropriate measures in respect of any minority to be undertaken by the Central Government or the State Governments;
(h) making periodical or special reports to the Central Government or any matter pertaining to minorities and in particular the difficulties confronted by them; and
(i) any other matter, which may be referred to it by the Central Government.
2.3 Section 2 (c) of NCM Act, 1992 stipulates that ‘Minority’ for the purposes of the Act, means a community notified as such by the Central Government. Therefore, all the functions of the Commission as laid down in Section 9(1) of the Act are related to the
six notified communities.
2.4 Complaints from notified minority communities.
Since the financial year 2000-01, the Commission received the following number of complaints (year-wise):-
2000 – 01 2478
2001 – 02 2590
2002 – 03 3146
2003 – 04 3578
2004 – 05 3342
2005 – 06 2078 (as on 31.12.2005)
2.5 The complaints now being received are mostly related to police atrocities, service matters, minority educational institutions and encroachments to religious properties. Reports were called for from the concerned authorities under the Union and State Governments. On receipt of the reports, the Commission made appropriate recommendations to the respective authorities for redressal of the grievances.