AMU minority status | Institute of national importance must reflect national structure: Govt. to SC

Syllabus: GS-II;  

Subject: Society and Social Justice

Topic:  Welfare schemes, mechanisms, laws, and institutions related to minorities.

Issue: Inclusion of  AMU to the list of Institutions of National Importance.

Context: Ongoing Supreme Court dispute over Aligarh Muslim University’s minority status and reservation implications raises complex constitutional questions.

Government’s Position:

  • Institutions recognized as institutions of national importance, such as AMU, must reflect the national structure.
  • Declaring AMU as a minority institution would imply no reservation for SC, ST, and SEBC categories, raising concerns about social justice and equality.

Petitions and Arguments:

  • Petitions challenging AMU’s minority status were filed in the 93rd amendment.
  • Despite no reservation, approximately 70-80% of students in AMU are Muslims.
  • SC erred in assuming Muslims were a minority in 1920 when AMU was established.
  • Article 30 rights cannot be extended retroactively without determining minority status at the time of establishment.


Overall, the case raises important questions about the intersection of minority rights, educational institutions’ status, and constitutional provisions regarding reservation and social justice.

Article/Judgement in News (Mains)

Article 30 :The right of religious and linguistic minorities to establish and administer educational institutions.

Article 15:

The 93rd Amendment Act of 2005: clause 5 was added to Article 15, which enables the reservation for socially and economically backward classes in private educational institutes.

1967 five-judge SC Constitution bench :‘S Azeez Basha vs Union of India’:

It was held that AMU was not entitled to minority education status as it “was neither established nor administered by the Muslim minority”

“Institute of National Importance” (INI):
 They are premier higher educational institutions recognized by the Central Government through an act of Parliament.

. They receive special funding and recognition from the Government of India, along with the authority to grant degrees as per Section 22 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.

While the specific criteria for achieving INI status and the associated benefits are not explicitly outlined, these institutions enjoy elevated status and support for their educational endeavors.

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