(1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

 

(1A) In making any law providing for the compulsory acquisition of any property of an educational institution established and administered by a minority referred to in clause (1), the State shall ensure that the amount fixed by or determined under such law for the acquisition of such property is such as would not restrict or abrogate the right guaranteed under that clause.

 

(2) The State shall not, in granting aid to educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language.

Debate Summary

Article 30 (Article 23A of the Draft Constitution) secures religious and linguistic minorities the right to establish and administer educational institutions.

 

The Article was debated on 8 December 1948. The main issue that the Assembly discussed was around the need for imparting primary education in one’s mother tongue.

 

One member moved an amendment to restrict the scope of this article to linguistic minorities. He argued that a secular state should not recognise minorities based on religion.

 

Another member proposed to guarantee linguistic minorities the fundamental right to receive primary education in their language and script. He referred to the Government’s 1947 resolution and noted that imparting primary education in one’s mother tongue was a proved educational approach. He further invoked the Nehru Report, which provided for the fundamental right to be educated in one’s mother tongue. He was concerned about the status of minority languages, even in regions which had a significant minority population.  This found support from another member who favoured imparting primary education in one’s mother tongue rather than in ‘alien tongue and script’.

 

A member wanted to qualify this proposal by inserting “in case of substantial number of such students being available”. Since the Constitution secures freedom of movement, people from diverse linguistic backgrounds settle across India. He argued that it is imperative to ensure that primary education in the language of the mother tongue.

 

In opposition, one member remarked that the ghost of 'Two nations'  remained in the Assembly.  Moreover, he noted that this proposal was economically unsound and would strain the tax-payers’ money unless ‘substantial number’ of students opt to study in a particular language.

 

The Constituent Assembly rejected the proposal. It adopted the Article on 8th December 1948.