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NCPCR seeks review of Act on quota for minority children

Abhay Singh | New Delhi |

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has urged the Central government to review the Constitution (93rd) Amendment Act which provides for reservation in higher educational institutes for children from economically weaker sections of minority communities.

Priyank Kanoongo, member of NCPCR, told The Statesman that the child rights body has observed that the real objective of benefitting children of minority communities is not being fulfilled under Article 15 (5) of the 93rd Amendment Act.

NCPCR observed that educational institutions which come under the Act are flouting the norms as they are not providing proper education to children who come from weaker sections.

“During our investigation of different educational institutions we found that no reservation was given to the children and as per the Act they were not provided religious education. Such practices adulterate the spiritual and cultural aim of minority institutions and dilutes the fundamental objective of the Act,” said Kanoongo.

If the Act is reviewed the child rights body can take action on such malpractices by institutions, he added.

At a meeting with 19 State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs), NCPCR passed a resolution that the Central government should assess and review the Act to find out how it has actually helped the children of minority communities.

NCPC said the institutions are a means for uplifting minority communities and there is a need to devise a pathway to ensure that the benefits reach such children.

At the meeting the Plantation Labour Act, 1951, was also discussed. As per the provisions of the Act, the well-being of the children of plantation workers is the responsibility of tea estate owners. However, the Act contradicts the provisions and definitions of the RTE Act, 2009. "It is high time to amend the Act in view of the RTE Act and harmonise all child-related Acts, said Kanoongo.

He added that there should be full implementation of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and POCSO Act, 2012 in all states and Union Territories.

Talent hunt

NCPCR reached out to educate 200 children and BSF jawans on child rights’ awareness, especially the POCSO Act under a football talent hunt tournament name “Oorja”.

NCPCR member Rupa Kapoor interacted with students of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala on various child right issues. Kapoor emphasised the role of NCPCR, students and other stakeholders.

BSF personnel said they will help the commission in curbing cross-border trafficking especially in Nepal and Bangladesh through the commission’s Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material on POCSO e-box.