National Commission for Minorities
- The Union Government set up the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) as a statutory body under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
- Initially five religious communities, viz., Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) were notified as minority communities by the Union Government. Further in 2014, Jains were also notified as another minority community.
- It’s objective is to safeguard and protect the interests of minorities as provided in the Constitution of India and laws enacted by the Parliament.
- The functions of NCM broadly include:
(a) evaluate the progress of the development of minorities under the Union and States;
(b) monitor the working of the safeguards provided in the Constitution and in laws enacted by Parliament and the State Legislatures;
(c) make recommendations for the effective implementation of safeguards for the protection of the interests of minorities by the Central Government or the State Governments;
(d) look into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights and safeguards of the minorities and take up such matters with the appropriate authorities;
(e) conduct studies, research and analysis on the issues relating to socio-economic and educational development of minorities;
(f) make periodical or special reports to the Central Government on any matter pertaining to minorities and in particular difficulties confronted by them; and
(g) any other matter which may be referred to it by the Central Government.
- The NCM receives petitions/grievances from the aggrieved persons and the said petitions/grievances being received by Commission are dealt with by calling for reports from the concerned authorities under the Union and State Governments.
- On receipt of the reports, the Commission makes appropriate recommendations to the respective authorities for redressal of the grievances.
Why in News?
- The National Commission for Minorities has taken cognizance of a complaint received regarding illegal mining in the Ropar District in Punjab.