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Cultural and Educational Rights

India, being a diverse country with a myriad of ethnic backgrounds, religious influence and varied sub-cultures,
also have minority groups. Articles 29 to 30 of the Indian Constitution effectively aim to eradicate this problem by
making a provision in the article known as Right to Cultural and Educational rights of Minority groups.
Article 29: Right to Protection of Interests
The constitution of India ensures equal to all the citizens of India liberty pertaining to conserving their culture,
language and script under Article 29 (1).
This provision simply states that the citizens have the right to preserve their language, heritage and backgrounds
and cannot be stifled by major language groups.
The second right under Article 29 (2), says that no minority groups will be denied admission into any educational
system or institution of their choice, and will also not be deprived of any funds from the state purely based on
religion, caste or language.
In this case, no minority or majority can be denied admission into any state or private institution on the basis of
social factors such as language and religion. The institutions have the responsibility of accepting students on the
basis of merit and talent, and not on the basis of language, class and religion.
The institutions also have to make sure that the cultural diversity of the country is well-maintained in the form of
multifarious languages and various religious groups.
Although there appears to be overlapping of provisions in respect to Article 15 (1) and 29 (2), Article 15 (1) is a
more general provision stating that there shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex, caste and religion. Article
29, however, is more specific pertaining to a particular species of the system in the form of gaining admission into
educational systems and getting benefits from state funds like all other citizens.
Article 30: Right to Establish Educational Institutions
Article 30 of the Indian Constitution states that religious and language minorities will have the right to administer
and start their own educational institutions. However, no minority, other than the ones suggested in the article will
have the right to establish any institution. The second provision, under Article 30 (2) states that, the government
will not deny these institutions any state funds or aid on the basis that it is run and managed by minority groups.
Protection of Minority Groups
The government has come with varied laws to help protect the rights of the minorities. The Protection of Civil
Rights Act 1989 and the Prevention of Atrocities Act of 1989 are two such acts established by the government. The
National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions 1992 was set up to look into any grievances lodged by
the minorities or any violation of rights. The commission was also set up to advice the state or central government
on any matter relating to the protection of educational minority groups by providing reports and suggestions.
The constitution of India saeguards the linguistic and cultural liberty of minorities. The aim of these articles and
rights in the constitution is to provide for and protect these minority groups by providing the equality of
opportunity and freedom to adhere to individual language, caste, culture and education.