Jamia Millia Islamia is a minority institution


New Delhi: National Commission for Minorities Educational Institutions, (NCMEI) which enjoys a semi-judicial status and powers, has granted minority status to Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia as it was founded by Muslims for the benefit of Muslims. This means that 50 percent seats can be reserved in this institution for Muslims and it will not be required to reserve seats for SC/ST and OBC students. This institution was set up in 1920 and in 1962 University Grants Commission accorded it the status of a deemed university and by an act of Parliament – Jamia Millia Islamia Act 1988 – it was given the status of a Central university. The position existing so far had been that 25% seats were reserved for internal students of Jamia, 22.5% for SC/ST students, 2.5% for handicapped students and the remaining 50% seats were general. With NCMEI's ruling of 22 February giving JMI the status of a minority institution, 50% seats will be reserved for internal and other Muslim students and the remaining will be general seats. NCMEI's decision was in response to a petition filed by Jamia Students Union, Jamia Old Boys Association and Jamia Teachers Association in 2006. The decision was taken jointly by the 3-member NCMEI headed by Justice MSA Siddiqi. Two other members of NCMEI are Mohinder Singh and Cyriac Thomas.

With this decision of NCMEI to declare JMI a minority institution, Jamia Millia Islamia Act, 1988 will have to be amended. The HRD ministry under Kapil Sibal is not in favour of giving JMI the status of a minority institutions, but it will not be able to disregard NCMEI's decision because the latter is a semi-judicial body. It can, however, challenge its decision in High Court or Supreme Court.

Photos from Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni-JMIA
Jamia Millia Islamia School Campus
Pt Nehru at Jamia Millia Islamia
Jamia Main Campus

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2011 on page no. 6

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