National Commission for Minorities

The National Commission for Minorities is a statutory body that was originally titled Minorities Commission. With the enactment of National Commission for Minorities Act 1992, the Minorities Commission (a non-statutory body) was renamed as National Commission for Minorities. The commission works for the development of the recognized minorities in India. It is an important topic for the UPSC 2021 concerning Prelims and IAS Mains GS-I (Social Empowerment) and GS-II (Governance.)

This article will provide relevant facts about the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) for the IAS Exam

National Commission for Minorities – Why in the news? (Nov 2020)

The commission is mandated to have one chairperson, a vice-chairperson and 5 members. As of November 2020, only one vacancy of Chairperson is filled while others are vacant.

The topic, ‘National Commission for Minorities’ is important from UPSC Mains GS 2 Syllabus point of view.

Read constitutional bodies-related articles from the links mentioned below:

  1. National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC)
  2. National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST)
  3. National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)
  4. National Commission for Women (NCW)
  5. National Commission for Safai Karamcharis

National Commission for Minorities – Important Facts for UPSC Prelims

The following are some important points on NCM to be remembered by the IAS aspirants for UPSC Prelims examination:

  1. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Resolution 1978 envisaged the idea of setting up a National Commission for Minorities.
  2. Until 1992, the Minorities Commission was a non-statutory body.
  3. In 1984, the Minorities Commission was separated from MHA and was brought under the Ministry of Welfare.
  4. Currently, the commission works under the Ministry of Minorities.
  5. Linguistic Minorities do not come under the National Commission for Minorities’ Jurisdiction since the Ministry of Welfare Resolution 1988 was passed.
  6. The first National Commission for Minorities was set up on 17th May 1993.

Which minority communities are governed by NCM?

The six religious communities notified as minority communities in India:

  1. Muslims
  2. Christians
  3. Sikhs
  4. Buddhists
  5. Zoroastrians/Parsis
  6. Jains (Notified as a minority on 27th June 2014.)

The important facts about the above-mentioned minority communities of India are listed below:

  1. The combined population of the six minority groups is around 19.30 percent of the total population of India.
  2. Out of six minority communities, Muslim is the largest one representing 14.2 percent of the population with 17.22 crores citizens belonging to the Muslim religion. (As per Census 2011.)
  3. The population figures of the remaining communities in descending order is given below:
    • Christians – 2.3 percent population (2.78 crores people)
    • Sikhs – 1.7 percent population (2.08 crores people)
    • Buddhists – 0.7 percent of the population (8.4 million people)
    • Jains – 0.4 percent of the population (4.5 million people)
    • Parsis – Around 57000 people (Not included in the census 2011)

Read about Jain, Parsis, Buddhist religions from the links mentioned below:

Jainism Zoroastrianism
Buddhism Difference between Jainism and Buddhism

Read about the right to freedom of religion from the linked article.

Functions of NCM

The National Minorities Commission performs the following functions:

  1. It evaluates the progress of the development of minorities under both central and state governments.
  2. It monitors the working of the constitutional laws enacted for the welfare of minorities, both by central and state governments.
  3. It makes recommendations for the implementation of protective safeguards for the minorities.
  4. It is the authorized body to look into complaints regarding deprivation of the rights and safeguards of the minority communities.
  5. It initiatives studies concerning minorities’ issues arising from discrimination.
  6. It conducts studies, research and analysis concerning issues related to the socio-economic and educational development of minorities.
  7. It presents periodic or special reports concerning minorities and their issues to the central government.
  8. It governs matters which the central government refers to.

Read about types of constitutional bodies in India in the linked article.

Composition of NCM | National Minorities Commission

It has seven members:

  1. A chairperson
  2. A vice-chairperson
  3. 5 members

Term of Members of NCM:

Each member of the commission holds the office for three years from the date of assumption of the office.

The points to remember about the composition of NCM:

  1. Central government nominates members.
  2. The members of the National Commission for Minorities are nominated from amongst the persons of eminence, integrity and ability.
  3. As of November 2020, the National Minorities Commission’s Chairman seat is vacant.
  4. Shri Atif Rasheed is the vice-chairman of the National Commission for Minorities.

The first Minorities Commission:

  1. The first chairperson of the Minority Commission was Justice Mohd. Sardar Ali Khan.
  2. The first viceman of the Minority Commission was Shri B.S. Ramoowalia.

Note: The first five commissions were non-statutory bodies.

The first statutory commission for minorities:

  1. The first chairman of the National Commission for Minorities was Justice Mohd. Sardar Ali Khan.
  2. The first vice-chairman of the National Commission for Minorities was Shri B.S. Ramoowalia.

Members of Present National Minorities Commission:

  1. Chairperson – Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi (Since 26.05.2017 – 25.5.2020)
  2. Vice-Chairperson – Shri Atif Rasheed (5.11.2020 – 13.1.2022)
  3. Shri Sunil Singhi (Since 29.05.2017 – 28.5.2020)
  4. Ms. Sulekha Kumbhare (Since 30.05.2017 – 29.5.2020)
  5. Shri Vada Dasturji Khurshed Kaikobad Dastoor ( Since 07.06.2017 – 6.6.2020)
  6. Shri Manjit Singh Rai(Since 25.10.2017 -31.3.2020)
  7. Shri Atif Rasheed(Since 14-1-2019-4.11.2020)

Aspirants can read about other constitutional, statutory and quasi-judicial bodies from the linked article.

Daily News

Quick Facts on National Commission for Minorities

In which year was the National Commission for Minorities established?

The Minorities Commission as a non-statutory body was established in 1978. The first National Commission for Minorities as a statutory body was established in 1993 after the enactment of National Commission for Minorities Act 1992.

Who is the current chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities?

The most recent Chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities was Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi whose tenure ended on 25th May 2020. New National Commission for Minorities chairman is yet to be appointed.

Is the National Commission for Minorities a statutory body?

Yes, NCM is a statutory body working under the Ministry of Minorities.

How many members are there in the national minorities commission?

There are seven members in NCM, however, the posts of 5 members and chairperson are currently vacant, as of November 2020.

UPSC Preparation:

Indian Society Questions from UPSC GS 1 Indian Polity Question from UPSC Mains GS 2
Download UPSC Prelims 2020 Question Paper PDF UPSC Mains GS 1 Strategy
UPSC Mains GS 2 Strategy UPSC Question Papers

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