Action on Socio-Economic and Religious Differentials in India

New Delhi, Aug 17, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) The Government has been taking a number of steps as a follow-up action on the recommendations of the Sachar Committee. This follow-up action is basically in tune with the  basic tenet of the Government to improve the socio-economic conditions of the minority communities through affirmative action and inclusive development so that every citizen has equal opportunity to participate actively in building a vibrant nation. A large number of Ministries/Departments, including the Ministry of Minority Affaris, are involved in this effort. The status of implementation of the decisions taken by the Government on the recommendations of the Sachar Committee are:

Department of Financial Services

·    All public sector banks have been directed to open more branches in districts having a substantial minority population.  Since 2007-08, a total of 2448 bank branches have been opened in such areas up to March, 2011.

·    RBI revised its Master Circular on 5th July, 2007 on priority sector lending (PSL) for improving credit facilities to minority communities. Rs.143396.70 crore have been provided to minorities up to March, 2011, which is 14.16% of total PSL.

·    District Consultative Committees (DCCs) of lead banks are regularly monitoring the disposal and rejection of loan applications for minorities.

·    To promote micro-finance among women, 5,87,088 accounts have been opened for minority women with Rs.3984.72 crore as micro-credit in 2010-11.

·    All public sector banks are organizing awareness campaigns in blocks/districts/towns with substantial minority population. In 2010-11, 1976 awareness campaigns were organized in such areas.

·    Lead banks have organized 1219 entrepreneurial development programmes (EDPs) in blocks/districts/towns with substantial minority population.

Ministry of Human Resource Development

·    Under the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) scheme 426 KGBVs have been made operational in minority concentration districts (MCDs). 64 KGBVs have been sanctioned for MCDs in 2010-11.

·    State Governments have been advised to accord priority to setting up new / upgraded schools under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) in minority concentration areas while appraising proposals under this scheme. In 2009-10 and 2010-11 309 and 314 new secondary schools were approved respectively for MCDs.

·    One model college each would be set up in 374 educationally backward districts (EBDs) in the country of which, 67 are in identified minority concentration districts.

·    Under the sub-mission on polytechnics, 57 districts out of 90 minority concentration districts for setting up of polytechnics in un-served and under-served districts. So far, Rs.140.66 crore have been released for setting up polytechnics in 37 Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs).

·    Preference is given by University Grants Commission for provision of girls’ hostels in universities and colleges in the areas where there is concentration of minorities especially Muslims. UGC has sanctioned 239 Women’s hostels and released Rs.64.66 crore during 11th Plan in 90 minority concentration districts.

·    The Area Intensive & Madarsa Modernisation Programme has been revised and bifurcated into two schemes. A Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madarsas (SPQEM) has been launched.  In 2010-11, Rs.101.47 crore was provided for assisting 11382 teachers in 5045 Madaras for 12 States.

·    Another scheme, bifurcated out of Area Intensive & Madarsa Modernisation Programme, called Infrastructure Development of Private aided/unaided Minority Institutes (IDMI) has been launched for providing infrastructure to minority institutes. In 2010-11, Rs.22.98 crore was released for assisting 124 institutions in 10 states.

·    For subsequent access to higher education and employment, the certificates issued by the State Madarsa Boards, whose certificates and qualifications have been granted equivalence by the corresponding State Boards, would be considered equivalent by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Council of Board of School Education in India (COBSE) or/and by any other school examination board.

·    Academies for professional development of Urdu medium teachers have been set up at three Central Universities namely, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia University and Maulana Azad National Urdu University.

·    Under the revised scheme for Financial Assistance for Appointment of Urdu Language Teachers, financial assistance is provided for appointment of Urdu teachers to any locality where more than 25% of the population is from Urdu speaking community in pursuance of the Prime Minister’s new 15 Point Programme. In 2010-11, Rs.5.08 lakh sanctioned to Orissa for appointment of 25 Urdu teachers and Rs.24.96 lakh to Kerala for honorarium to 208 Urdu teachers.

·    All State Governments/UT administrations have been advised for using existing school buildings and community buildings as study centres for school children.

·    National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has prepared text books for all classes in the light of the National Curriculum Framework-2005.

·    Thirty five universities have started centers for studying social exclusion and inclusive policy for minorities and scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.  Besides, 1280 Centres of Equal Opportunity (CEOs) have been established in 51 universities during 2009-10 and 1345 and 1367 such centres are proposed to be established during 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively.

Ministry of Minority Affairs

·    Continuous efforts are being made by the Government to set up Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) for deprived groups by an enactment.

·    A  Bill to amend Waqf Act, 1995 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 27th April, 2010 and passed on 7th May, 2010. It was then referred to the Rajya Sabha. The Bill has now been referred to the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha. Several sittings of the Select Committee have been held.

·    The Government has accorded in-principle approval for restructuring of National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC). A consultancy firm has been appointed to work out the details for restructuring of NMDFC.

·    An Inter-ministerial Task Force constituted to devise an appropriate strategy and action plan for developing 338 identified towns having substantial minority population rapidly in a holistic manner submitted its report on 8th November, 2007.  The concerned Ministries/Departments have been advised to give priority in the implementation of their schemes in these 338 towns.

·    Four scholarship/Fellowship schemes for students from the minority communities have been launched. All these schemes provide for earmarking 30% of scholarships for girl students. Under these schemes, since 2007-08, a total of 78.68 lakh scholarships/Fellowships have been awarded to the students belonging to minority communities. The scheme wise break up of total numbers of scholarships/Fellowships awarded is-

Ø  Pre-matric scholarship scheme from class-I to X: A total number of 66.63 lakh scholarships have been awarded since 2008-09.

Ø Post- matric scholarship scheme from class XI to PhD: A total number of 10.85 lakh scholarships have been awarded since 2007-08.

Ø Merit-cum-means scholarship scheme for technical and professional courses at under-graduate and post-graduate levels: A total number of 120,491 scholarships have been awarded since 2007-08.

Ø A fellowship scheme called Maulana Azad National Fellowship scheme for M.Phil and Ph.D. scholars has been launched and 757 fellowships have been awarded to fellows/students from minority communities during 2009-10.

·    The corpus of Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF), which stood at Rs.100 crore, now stands at Rs.700.00 crore. There is a provision of Rs.50 crore in the budget for 2011-12 to raise the corpus to Rs.750 crore. The foundation has given financial assistance of Rs.139 crore to 1063 non-governmental organizations for promotion of education since inception. It has also awarded 59303 meritorious scholarships to girl students with a total disbursement of Rs.69 crore since 2003-04.

·    A revised coaching and allied scheme was launched in 2006-07. 4845 students   belonging to minority communities have benefited under this scheme in 2010-11.

·    A Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) was launched in 90 identified minority concentration districts in 2008-09.  The Ministry has so far released Rs.2162.03 crore to the States/UTs. The budget allocation for 2011-12 is Rs.1219 crore.

·    A multi-media campaign for effective dissemination of information to its target beneficiaries has been taken up through print, radio and TV.

Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

·    A National Data Bank, to compile data on the various socio-economic and basic amenities parameters for socio-religious communities, has been set up in the Ministry.

Planning Commission

·    An autonomous Assessment & Monitoring Authority (AMA), to analyse data collected for taking appropriate and corrective policy decisions, has been set up in the Planning Commission.

·    A comprehensive institutional structure for fostering skill development has been set up in Planning Commission to address the skill development needs of the country including minorities. It includes National Council on Skill Development, National Skill Development Coordination Board and a National Skill Development Corporation.

Department of Personnel and Training

·    A training module has been developed by the Indian Institute of Public Administration, for sensitization of government officials. The module has been sent to the Central/ State Training Institutes for implementation and it has been included in their training calendar. Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) has prepared a module for sensitization of organized civil services and it has been incorporated in their training programme.

·    State Governments and Union Territory Administrations have been advised by Department of Personnel & Training for posting of Muslim police personnel in thanas and Muslim health personnel and teachers in Muslim concentration areas.

·    Guidelines for giving special consideration in the recruitment of minorities in Government, railways, nationalized   banks and public sector enterprises was issued by the Department of Personnel and Training on 8th January, 2007. Since then, the annual recruitment of minorities has been monitored regularly on annual basis.

Ministry of Home Affairs

·    A High Level Committee, set up to review the Delimitation Act, has considered the concerns expressed in the Sachar Committee report and submitted its report.

·    Revised guidelines on Communal Harmony have been issued. A working group in National Advisory Council (NAC) has drafted a Bill titled “Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice & Reparations) Bill, 2011. Comments of the Ministry have been given already to NAC.

Ministry of Urban Development

·    Governments of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Kerala have given exemption to Waqf Board properties from Rent Control Act.

Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation

·    For facilitating the flow of funds under the Jawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT), Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) to towns and cities, having a substantial concentration of minority population, necessary steps have been taken to ensure that Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for such towns and cities include adequate provisions for minorities.

Ministry of Labour and Employment

·    An Act has been passed by the Parliament for providing social security to workers in the un- organized sector, which, inter- alia, includes home based workers.

Ministry of Culture

·    Meetings of circles of Archeological Survey of India have been held with State Waqf Boards to review the list of waqfs which are under the Archeological Survey of India.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

·    Dissemination of information regarding health and family welfare schemes has been undertaken in regional languages in minority concentration areas.

Ministry of Panchayati Raj

·    State Governments have been advised by Ministry of Panchayati Raj and Ministry of Urban Development to improve representation of minorities in local bodies.

- PIB Features, with inputs from the Ministry of Minority Affairs. 

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