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Updated On: 12-Aug-2021

NCPCR Report about Minority Institutions exempting from RTE

Dear Fathers/Brothers/Sisters,

Greetings from CBCI Office for Education and Culture!

I am sure you would have come across on the 11th of August 2021, a report by NCPCR widely reported in the media! In a study undertaken by the National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) titled Impact of Exemption under Article 15 (5) with regards to Article 21A of the Constitution of India on Education of Minority Communities, the child rights body has recommended to the government to bring all minority schools under the ambit of Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009 and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan campaign. It further says, at present, the minority schools don’t fall under RTE and are exempted under Article 15 (5) that empowers the government to form any policy for the upliftment of socially backward class, thus forming the basis of affirmative action in private unaided schools in India.

According to the report across all communities in minority schools, 62.5 per cent of the student population belong to the non-minority community, while only 37.5 per cent belong to the minority community. Muslim community schools (20.29 per cent) have the lowest percentages of non-minority population among their minority schools. The Christian community schools, on the other hand, have 74.01 per cent of the student population belonging to the non-Christian communities.

According to the NCPCR report, only 8.76 per cent of the students in minority schools belong to socially and economically disadvantaged background. “Since minority schools are outside the purview of the RTE Act, there is no compulsion to admit students from disadvantaged backgrounds,” it says. Giving a religion-wise breakup of the schools, the report says that while Christians comprise 11.54 per cent of India’s minority population, they run 71.96 per cent schools, and Muslims with 69.18 per cent minority population run 22.75 per cent of the schools.


The NCPCR also backed reservation for students from minority communities in such schools after its survey found a large proportion of non-minority students studying there.

“Many schools, we know, have registered as minority institutions, simply because they don’t have to implement RTE. But can Article 30, which ensures the right of minorities to open their own institutions for cultural, linguistic and religious protection, contravene what is in Article 21(A) which protects a child’s fundamental right to education. Surely Article 21 (A) must prevail,’’ asks Kanoongo, the Chairperson of NCPCR.

The Child Rights body has recommended the government to extend the provisions of RTE to minority educational institutions or make a law with similar effect to ensure RTE of children studying in these minority educational institutions. They have also suggested a greater role of the Minority Cell in NCERT/ SCERTS in giving the fundamental right to elementary education to all children, especially children of minority communities.

In the report, they have also appealed for introspection by management of schools with minority status and religious institutions on their role and contribution! Most importantly, they have suggested the government to undertake mapping of all unrecognised institutions to identify out of school children.

The report also suggests that minority schools are catering to less than 8 per cent of the minority children population, despite a large presence of minority students in school-going age groups. Hence, “there is a need to lay down specific guidelines regarding the minimum percentage of students from the minority community to be admitted to the institution”, says the report.

Hence there is an apprehension among the Catholic Leaders and the Educational Institutions if this NCPCR Report has any legal standing. Mr. Jose Abraham, Supreme Court Lawyer has given us the legal standing of this report which is attached here.

Jose Abraham in his statement says, “It is pertinent to note herein that while the Constitution Bench verdict of the Supreme Court titled as Pramati Educational & Cultural Trust & Ors. Vs Union of India & Ors. (W.P. (C) No. 416 of 2012) considered all the legal aspects related to the implementation of RTE Act and also the constitutional rights guaranteed to minority institutions under Article 30 (1) of the Constitution of India and accordingly pronounced an authoritative judgement on the subject. A verdict passed by the Supreme Court shall be treated as the law of the land and binding on all and hence the legal position on the aforesaid subject is crystal clear. Any attempt to dilute the well-settled legal position will not survive in the eyes of law.”


Please find attached both the report of the NCPCR about the Minority Schools enjoying exemption from the Right to Education Act 2009 and also the statement by Mr. Jose Abraham!

We shall take up the discussion of the report and its repercussions in our Meeting of the Regional Secretaries and the National Coordinators with the Chairperson and the Member Bishops on 28th August 2021.

With best wishes,


Fr. Maria Charles SDB
National Secretary
CBCI Office for Education and Culture
CBCI Centre, 1 Ashok Road, New Delhi - 110001
Office: +91 11 23747290 (Office)
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