Cultural and Educational Rights in Indian Constitution

Cultural and Educational Rights

The Indian constitution guarantees Cultural and Educational Rights under articles 29 and 30. In India education finds place in the Concurrent list.

India is a vast land where resides different races, languages, cultures and castes. Indian people are not integrated by racial unity, unity of language and literature, geographical proximity, historical unity, religious unity, unity of economic interest and cultural unity. In such a country it is essential to protect the interest and identities of the minority.

Article 29: This article seeks to protect the interests of the minority communities. This article confers the freedom to all citizens, residing in different parts of the land, to conserve their distinct languages, scripts or cultures state shall not impose upon it any culture other than the community’s own culture.

This article further assures that no citizen shall be denied admission into any state-run or state-aided educational institution on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them. Kerala Education Bill (1958) and State of Madras vs. Compakam (1951) may be referred to in connection with this right.

Article 30: It provides that all minority communities—religion or linguistic, have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. In granting aid to educational institutions, the state shall not discriminate on the grounds of religion or language.

This article confers

The right to establish an educational institution by the minorities,
The right to administer it and
The right to get state-grants for it without discrimination.
The word minority has not been defined by the constitution. The Harijans are not regarded as minority; they are treated as part of ‘Hindu community. Backward classes are not minorities (Kerala Education Bill, 1958).

The right stipulated in Article 30 is under the regulatory power of the state. So long as the minority is not deprived of their right guaranteed by the constitution, a law regulating certain matters concerning industrial relation, academic matters and the like shall not be considered as infringement on Article 30.

But autonomy of a minority cannot be completely taken away (St. Stephens College vs. University of Delhi (1992).

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