New Delhi: The Jain community today became the sixth religious group accorded with the minority status following a notification issued by the Centre.
The government had decided in a Cabinet meeting on January 20 to give the community of about 50 lakh people the minority status, which had been their longstanding demand and will allow them to avail benefits in government schemes and programmes.
"In exercise of powers conferred by clause(c) of Section 2 of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 (19 of 1992), the central government hereby notifies the Jain community as a minority community in addition to the five communities already notified as minority communities," an official statement said.
A Jain delegation had met Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi to press for the acceptance of their demand and the Cabinet decision came the very next day.
Jains would now get a share in central funds earmarked for welfare programmes and scholarships for the minorities. They can also manage and administer their own educational institutions.
Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis are the other minority communities.
The community is already enjoying minority status in some states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, but the new decision extends that status across the country.