National Commission for Minorities (NCM)

  • It is a statutory body set up in 1993 under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
  • The commission is made up of:
    • a Chairperson,
    • a Vice Chairperson and
    • five members.
  • All are to be nominated by the Central Government from amongst persons of eminence, ability, and integrity.
  • Tenure: Each Member holds office for a period of three years from the date of assumption of office.
  • Unlike other bodies like NCSC and NCST, NCM has no constitutional backing or status.
  • It works under the Ministry of Minority Affairs, and before the formation of this ministry it came under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Section 2 of the NCM Act stipulates that ‘Minority’ for the purposes of the Act means a community notified as such by the Central Government.
  • Initially, five religious communities namely Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians(Parsis) were notified as minority communities. In 2014, Jains were also notified as another minority community.
  • Some state viz. Andhra Pradesh, Assam , Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi , Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have also set up State Minorities Commissions.
  • There’s no prescribed selection process for making appointments with the Cabinet Appointments Committee arbitrarily picking up names from a list suggested by the “nodal” ministry.
Who are minorities?
  • Constitution of India has not defined word ‘Minority’ and only refers to ‘Minorities’.
  • It speaks of minorities ‘based on religion or language’ and rights of minorities have been spelt out in Constitution in detail.
  • Six religious communities, viz. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains have been notified in Gazette of India as minority communities by Union Government all over India.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top