Union Cabinet granted minority status to Jain community across India

Jan 21, 2014 14:02 IST

Jain community has been granted the minority status by Union Cabinet on 20 January 2014. This nod has enabled the community to avail the benefits in government schemes and programmes. With this nod of the Union Community, Jain community became the sixth community to attain minority status. Other five communities that has been granted the status of minority are
• Muslims
• Christians
• Sikhs
• Buddhists
• Parsis

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This nod came ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2014. It is also followed by the meet of vice-president of Congress, Rahul Gandhi’s meet with Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.

Before this cabinet nod of minority status to Jain community was in existence in some states namely, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. This nod has extended the status of the community across India.

The community will get a share in the central fund that is regulated under the welfare programmes and also as scholarships for the minority after the decision is notified under Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992. With this notification, the community will be allowed to administer and mange their own educational institutions.

Chapter I of the National Commission for Minorities under its Section 2 has defined the minority commission and the Act has mentioned
i. Commission means the National Commission for Minorities constituted under section 3.
ii. Member means a Member of the Commission [and includes the Vice Chairperson].
iii. Minority, for the purposes of this Act, means a community notified as such by the Central Government.
iv. Prescribed means prescribed by Rules made under this Act.

Chapter II of the commission under Section 3 has described the process of Constitution of the National Commission for Minorities
i. The Central Government shall constitute a body to be known as the National Commission for Minorities to exercise the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to, it under this Act.
ii. The Commission shall consist of a Chairperson, [a Vice Chairperson and five] Members to be nominated by the Central Government from amongst persons of eminence, ability and integrity; Provided that five Members including the Chairperson shall be from amongst the Minority communities.

About Jain Community and its start

At present about 50 lakh (as per the census 2001, Jain community is about 0.4 percent of total Indian population) people are a part of Jain population in India. The community is considered as a prosperous group because maximum of its population is a business group traditionally.

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According to Jainism originated as a religion by 24 Thirthankaras. Rigveda have the reference of the first Thirthankara named Rishabha. The last two Thirthankaras were Parasvanath (23rd) and Vardhamana Mahavira (24th). Parasvanath died at the age of 100 years, hot enlightment at the age of 30. Mahavira was born in 540 BC in Kundagrama, near Vaisali in North Bihar and got enlightment at the age of 42 and died at the age of 72 years in 468b BC in Rajgir in Bihar by self-starvation.

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