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2006 Sachar Committee Report

2006 Sachar Committee Report

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Published by Christopher Taylor

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Christopher Taylor on Jul 21, 2012
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Summarised Sachar Report onStatus of Indian Muslims
The Milli Gazette13 December 2006While issuing notification during March 2005 the Prime Minister’s Office had notedthat there is lack of authentic information about the social, economic andeducational status of the Muslim community of India. The PMO had observed thatsuch lack of information comes in the way of planning, formulating andimplementing specific interventions, policies and programmes to address theissues relating to the socio-economic backwardness of this community. Hence, thePrime Minister’s High Level Committee was mandated to obtain relevantinformation from departments / agencies of the Central and State Governmentsand also conduct an intensive literature survey to identify published data, articlesand research on relevant status of Muslims in India. The Committee was to findout the asset base and income levels of Muslims relative to other groups acrossvarious states and regions. It had to find out the level of socio-economicdevelopment of Muslims in terms of relevant indicators such as religious rate, dropout rate, MMR, IMR etc. What is their relative share in public and private sectoremployment? Is this share in proportion to their population in various states? If not, what are the hurdles? The Committee was to find the proportion of OBCsfrom the Muslim community in the total OBC population. Are the Muslim OBCslisted in the comprehensive list of OBCs, prepared by the National and StateBackward Classes Commissions. What is the share of Muslim OBCs in the totalpublic sector employment for OBCs. The Committtee had also to find out whetherthe Muslim community has adequate access to the education and health services,municipal infrastructure, bank credit and other services provided by theGovernment and public sector entities. This was to be compared with the access
enjoyed by the other communities. What is the level of social infrastructure(schools, health centres, ICDS centres etc.) located in areas of Muslimconcentration in comparison to the general level of such infrastructure. TheCommittee was to identify areas of intervention by the Government to address therelevant issues relating to the social, economic and educational status of theMuslim community.2. The Report which was presented to the Prime Minister on 17 November 2006and was tabled in Parliament on 30 November 2006 has twelve chapters. ChapterI is introductory. Chapter II talks of Public Perceptions and Perspectives gatheredby the Committee during its widespread interaction with the people and theirrepresentatives while it visited 13 most Muslim populous states and organized 5Round Table Conferences in Delhi. Chapter III deals with the population size,distribution and health conditions of Muslims etc. In the subsequent chapters theCommittee has analyzed the educational condition of Muslims, their economy andemployment, their access to bank credits, their access to social and physicalinfrastructure, their poverty level and standard of living, their participation ingovernment employment and programmes and empirical situation of Muslim OBCs.There is a separate chapter of Wakfs talking about economic potential of Wakf assets, constraints regarding the fulfillment of Wakf objectives and suggestions forovercoming such constraints. In the last chapter the Committee has given itsrecommendations.3. The Committee noted that the public opinion in India was divided onreservation. Some argued that policies that promote equality must aim at asubstantive equal outcome, not merely formal equal or identical treatment.Reservations or a separate quota for Muslims in employment and educationalinstitutions was viewed as a means to achieve this. Others felt that reservationscould become a thorny issue and have negative repercussions. Still others arguedthat good educational facilities combined with non-discriminatory practices areadequate for Muslims to compete. Those who argued for reservation policies oftendiffered on who should be their beneficiary. Some argued that this facility shouldonly be available to ‘dalit’ Muslims, while others suggested that the entireCommunity should benefit from it. For some an economic criterion was an ideal
basis for reservations. They felt that this would fail to address the problem arisingout of social discrimination. There were voices that questioned the non-availabilityof the Schedule Caste quota for Muslims while it was available to the followers of three religions.4. A large cross section of the people was of the conviction that politicalparticipation and representation in governance structures are essential to achieveequity. Many alleged that participation is denied to Muslims through a variety of mechanisms. While it was pointed out that many names of Muslims were missingin the voter lists of a number of states, the Committee’s attention was also drawnto the issue of Muslim concentration constituencies of Assemblies and Parliamentdeclared as reserved for Schedule Caste persons while constituencies with verylow Muslim population but high SC concentration remain unreserved. Hence, it wasargued that Muslims are being systematically denied political participation. TheCommittee collected data from all over the country in the light of which the secondallegation regarding reservation of constituencies was found to be correct. For thefirst allegation the Committee did not collect any data.5. In the field of literacy the Committee found that the rate among Muslims wasfar below the national average. The gap between Muslims and the general averageis greater in urban areas and women. 25 per cent of Muslim children in the 6-14year age group have either never attended school or have dropped out. Expansionof educational opportunities since Independence has not led to a convergence of attainment levels between Muslims and all others. Drop out rates among Muslimsare higher at the level of primary, middle and higher secondary. The Committeeobserved that since artisanship is a dominant activity among Muslims technicaltraining should be provided to even those who may not have completed schooling.The disparity in graduation attainment rates is widening since 1970s betweenMuslims and all other categories in both urban and rural areas. In premier collegesonly one out of 25 under-graduate students and one out of 50 post-graduatestudents is a Muslim. Unemployment rate among Muslim graduates is the highestamong all socio-religious communities. Only 3% of Muslim children among theschool going age go to Madarsas. There is dearth of facilities for teaching Urdu.Lower enrolment in Urdu medium schools is due to limited availability of such

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