In response to a petition seeking guidelines for identification of minorities based on population of a state instead of the present system based on all-India population, state governments across the nation have taken a stand on the issue before the Supreme Court [Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India]..The petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay has challenged Section 2(f) of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act of 2004. The provision states that a minority for the purpose of the Act is a community notified by the Central government..An affidavit filed by the Central government before the top court through Advocate Amrish Kumar sets out the views of 24 states and 6 union territories (UTs) on the issue..Out of the 30 administrations that shared their views, 16 said that the power must continue to vest with the Central government and minorities should be decided based on national population. 8 batted for state governments to notify minorities based on state population, while 6 took varied stands..Comments from 6 states/UTs are still awaited. These are: Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Lakshadweep, Rajasthan and Telangana..Interestingly, while the petitioner is himself a BJP leader who has sought declaration of minorities at the state level, only three BJP-ruled states have taken a view against national level determination of minority status. These are: Assam, Manipur and Uttarakhand.All other BJP-governed states that filed responses have supported the status quo of national level determination to continue..Below are the views of each State / UT:.Andhra Pradesh – Minority status by reference to religion should be determined by state, by treating state and not entire nation as a unit.Assam – Identification of minorities should be state-wise.Andaman & Nicobar Islands – Direction of Central government will be followed to determine minority status.Bihar – Minority status to be determined by following current system of identification.Chhattisgarh - Minority status should be determined following established system by Central government. Those communities which are minorities at the national level are minorities even in Chhattisgarh, and hence, it is not affected by the operation of Section 2(f)Chandigarh – Direction of Central government will be followed to determine minority status.Delhi – Government has no objection if followers of Judaism and Bahaism are declared minorities by Central government. Followers of Hinduism and not minorities in Delhi but those Hindus residing in Delhi may be declared migrated minority if they are religious minority in their original State (such as Jammu & Kashmir).Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu – Direction of Central government will be followed to determine minority status.Gujarat – Minority status to be determined by following current system of identification.Goa – No stand taken on the issue.Himachal Pradesh – Constitutional scheme has envisaged minority status to be determined at national level. Therefore, current system may continue.Haryana – Recommendation may be sent by State government based on latest census. However, decision of Central government is final.Karnataka – The stand is to maintain status quo. Kerala - Minority status may be determined by following current system of identification, unless the Supreme Court takes a different stand.Ladakh – Since identifying minorities requires political consultation, Ladakh being a union territory, cannot take such a decision. Therefore, it falls within the purview of the Central government.Madhya Pradesh – Minority status to be determined by following current system of identification.Maharashtra – Central government can notify minorities in states by using census data and in consultation with the concerned state.Manipur – Religious minorities should be recognised at state level. Any religious group constituting less than 50 per cent of a state’s population ought to be recognised as minority group in that state.Meghalaya – Central government is competent authority to recognise and notify minorities.Mizoram – Since the issue falls under the Concurrent List, both Central and State governments are competent. Therefore, any legislation in this regard would be a need-based policy decision by the Centre or State government.Nagaland – The minority status being followed presently is acceptable.Odisha – There is no justification to remove any notified minorities, nor declare any other community as minority.Punjab – Both Central and state legislature have power to protect minorities. In Punjab, only State government in a position to appreciate interests of communities. Therefore, important that State continues to notify minorities. Puducherry – The prayers in the writ petition are not applicable since no one is being deprived of their basic rights to establish educational institutions.Sikkim – The question has been settled by a Constitution Bench in the case of TMA Pai Foundation. Therefore, the relevant unit will be the State. Tamil Nadu – The identification and notification of minorities must be made at State-level. Tripura – No clear stand taken.Uttarakhand – Identification of minorities must be at state level to ensure followers of certain religions who are actually less in numbers get their constitutional rights.Uttar Pradesh – No objection if a decision is taken by the Central government.West Bengal – Power to declare a community as minority should vest in the state government/union territory.