Minorities Rights Day is annually observed across India on 18th December to create awareness on the Constitutionally-assured rights of religious minorities and aims to uphold the right to freedom and equal opportunities for the ethnic minorities in India.
- The day also highlights the need to eliminate all forms of discrimination against minorities.
- The day is annually celebrated by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM)
The Minorities Rights Day in India was first observed on 18th December 2013.
Why December 18?
December 18th was chosen to mark the day on which the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) on 18 December 1992 by resolution 47/135.
Minority Communities in India:
i.Under Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, the Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jain and Zoroastrians (Parsis) have been notified as minority communities.
ii.According to the 2011 census, the minorities constitute around 19.3 % of the total population of India.
About National Commission for Minorities (NCM):
i.The establishment of the Minorities Commission has been envisaged in the Ministry of Home Affairs Resolution dated 12th January 1978.
ii.The NCM was established under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
Functions of the NCM:
As per Section 9(1) of the NCM Act 1992, the functions of the NCM includes,
- Evaluation of the progress of the development of minorities under the Union and States.
- Monitoring of the working of the safeguards for minorities provided in the Constitution and laws.
- Making recommendations for the effective implementation of safeguards for the protection of the interests of minorities.
- Looking into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights and safeguards of minorities and taking up such matters with the appropriate authorities.
Chairperson – Iqbal Singh Lalpura (2021 to 2024)
Vice Chairperson – Atif Rasheed (2020 to 2022)
Member -Kersi Kaikhushroo Deboo (2021 to 2024)