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MINORITIES’ WELFARE AND UPA GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES : AN ANALYSIS

Dr. M.A. Baseer,


Lecturer, Yeshwant Mahavidyalaya,
Nanded-431602
E-mail : baseer_nanded@yahoo.com
E-m
ail:dr.baseerbari@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
The present paper deals with the comprehensive analysis of Prime M
inister’s New 15 Point Programme for the welfare of Minorities and initiatives tak
en in pursuance of the recommendations of the Sachar Committee .It covers all
the National Flagship Schemes ,Development Programmes being implemented with spe
cific targets for SCs ,STs ,OBCs while Minorities are not being benefited by tha
t schemes ,although their educational, social and economical condition is worst
than those of SCs ,STs, OBCs in different parts of the country .
…………………………………………………………………………………………………….
For the welfare of minorities Late Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gand
hi had released a 20 Point Programme in 1970, in pursuance of which not a single
programme was implemented. Then Late Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi declared
a 15 Point Programme among which seven points were to control the communal riot
s. That 15 Point Programme was not aimed to eradicate the educational backwardn
ess of Muslims, although educational backwardness of Muslims is the only cause o
f their socio, economical and political backwardness.
The present Prime Minister s New 15 Point Programme aims at providing equal deve
lopment opportunities to minorities with definite goals to be achieved in a spec
ific time frame.
The objectives of the programme are as follows;
a) Enhancing opportunities for education.
b) Ensuring an equitable share for minorities in economic activities and em
ployment, through existing and new schemes, enhanced credit support for self-emp
loyment, and recruitment to State and Central Govt. jobs.
c) Improving the conditions of living of minorities by ensuring an appropri
ate share for them in infrastructure development schemes.
d) Prevention and control of communal disharmony and violence.
This programme provides that wherever possible, 15% targets and outlays under va
rious schemes should be earmarked for minorities.
The schemes amenable to such earmarking are :
A) Enhancing opportunities for Education :
1) Equitable availability of ICDS Services :
Integrated Child Development Services through Anganwadies.
2) Improving access to school Education :
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Sche
me (KGBVS) and other similar Govt. schemes.
B) Equitable Share in Economic Activities and Employment :
1) Self Employment and Wage Employment for the poor.
(a) Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SJSY)
(b) Swarnjayanti Shahri Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY)
(c) Sampurn Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY)
2) Upgradation of skills through technical training.
New Industrail Training Institution (ITI) and upgradation of existing ITIs.
3) Enhanced Credit Support for Economic Activities.
(a) Bank Credit under priority sector lending.
C) Improving the conditions of living of Minorities :
1) Equitable share in rural housing scheme Indira Awas Yojana (IAY)
2) Improvement in condition of slums inhabited by minority communities.
Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) Basic Services for Urb
an Poor (BSUP) under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)
It has been observed that many of the centrally sponsored schemes and schemes un
der Bharat Nirman and National Flagship Programs are not included in the P.M s n
ew 15 Point Program. Such as –
A) Under enhancing opportunities of education, only ICDS, SSA and KGBVs are
included while Mid-Day Meal Scheme, strengthening of Teacher Training Institute
s, Mahila Samakhya, National Mission for Female Literacy, support to NGOs for Ad
ult Education and Skill Development, Merged Schemes of Literacy Campaign and Con
tinuing Education, Jan Shikshan Sansthans, Scheme for Universal Access and Quali
ty at Secondary Stage (SUCCESS), National Scheme for Incentive to girl child, Na
vodaya Vidyalayas, Kendriya Vidyalayas, New Model Schools, Sainik Schools, Natio
nal Institute of Open Schooling, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), Com
munity Colleges, Top Class Education in Private/Un-aided Schools, Scheme for Set
tingup of 6000 Model Schools at Block level, Inclusive Education for disabled at
Secondary Schools, National Means-Cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (one lakh
scholarships per year), Vocationalisation of Education, Community Polytechnics,
Information and Communication Technology in Schools, Scheme for Construction an
d Running Girls Hostels for Secondary and Higher Secondary Students and at colle
ge level (2000 Girls Hostels with a unit cost of Rs. 1 crore will be provided in
XI Plan out of which 300 Hostels must be for minorities), National Bal Bhavan,
Institutes of Higher Education and Research, Establishment of Universities, Inno
vation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Scholarship Scheme (10
,000 scholarships per year) Scholarship for continuing Science Education, Nation
al Knowledge Network, Fellowship for Research and Study in India and abroad (Nat
ional Overseas Scholarships), Scholarship for college/university students (newly
declared 82,000 scholarships), PG Indira Gandhi Scholarship Scheme (to single g
irl child students), CSIR Program on Youth for Leadership in Science, National T
alent Search Exams, Student loans to Weaker Section (with full interest subsidy)
.
• The benefits of all these schemes must be targeted for minorities with respect t
o their population and backwardness as being earmarked for SCs, STs and OBCs.
The National Policy on Education (NPE) commits itself to provide all pos
sible means for the uplift of the educationally backward minorities. The Nation
al Monitoring Committee for Minorities Education (NMCME) is constituted by the M
inistry of HRD in 2004 to look into all aspects of education of minorities and s
uggest ways and means to improve the conditions for educational empowerment of m
inorities.
The Madarsa Modernisation Programme has been revised by providing better
salary to teachers, increased assistance for books, teaching aids and computers
, introduction of vocational subjects. This Central Sponsored Scheme is Quality
Improvement in Madarasa Education (SPQEM) with a budget provision of Rs. 325 cr
ore in XI plan. It is targeted to cover 4500 to 6000 Madarsas.
In very few Madarsas, Government has extended its Mid-day Meal Scheme.
A new Centrally Sponsored Scheme of financial assistance for Infrastructure Deve
lopment of privately managed Minority Schools (IDMI) has been launched with an o
utlay of Rs. 125 Cr. in XI Plan.
Universalisation of Access to Quality Education at Secondary Stage (SUCCESS) has
been approved. Setting up of new Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSSs) is being incorpo
rated in the revised scheme by the MHRD. Provision of more Girls Hostels in col
leges and universities in Minority Concentrated Districts/Blocks is proposed und
er existing UGC scheme ( as stated by Minister of MoMA in Rajya Sabha on 4th Aug
ust, 2009) But the achievement of these schemes are not submitted by the Hon ble
Minister.
The Mid-day Meal Scheme has been extended to 3479 educationally backward blocks
in 2007-08, out of which 564 blocks are of Muslim minority concentration, and th
e remaining 1228 Muslim concentration blocks were targeted to be covered during
2008-09.
Only 77 blocks with a high concentration of Muslims have been identified for est
ablishing BITEs to impart Teachers Training.
Training of Urdu Medium Teacher for modern subjects is started only at AMU, JMI
and MANUU, which did not cater the needs of thousands of Urdu Medium teachers fo
r their professional development.
• UGC, AICTE, NCTE, MCI, PCI, Dept. of School Education (MHRD) etc. must be asked
to develop a comprehensive policy for fair share in various schemes for minoriti
es.
• The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) must have
statutory powers so that it should effectively implement minorities rights to es
tablish and administer educational institution of their choice and higher and te
chnical educational institutions should get the direct affiliation with Central
Universities without any local hurdles.
A total of 88 Minority Concentrated Districts would be covered under XI Plan of
incentivising States to set up colleges in districts with lower than the Nationa
l Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education.
A new centrally sponsored scheme is proposed for assistance to polytechnics whic
h ensures that each Muslim Minority Concentrated District has a polytechnic for
which non-recurring expenditure is proposed to be made available. ( Press Releas
e MHRD, dated 17th January, 2008).
• To reduce the dropout rate among minorities, in built mechanism for upgrading ed
ucational needs of minorities like coaching classes/ remedial teaching must be p
rovided in all schools/colleges. Still no sincere efforts are made to increase t
he access of minorities in educational institutions. Madarsa pass-outs must be
recognised for admissions in formal University Degree Programs.
• Elimination of religion based discrimination and harassment in educational insti
tutions should be ensured by institutes by establishing Equal Opportunity Office
s.
B) Under Equitable Share in Economic Activities and Employment, Schemes lik
e Prime Ministers Employment Generation Program ( PMEGP), Skill Development Miss
ion, Work Shed Schemes for artisans, Scheme for enhancing productivity and compe
titiveness for Khadi industries artisans, Weavers, Handloom Weavers Comprehensiv
e Welfare Scheme, Skilled labours, Handicraft Artisans Comprehensive Welfare Sch
eme, Scholarships to aspiring Pilot Trainees etc. are not included. Minorities
must be benefited by such activities. Special programmes of employment are very
necessary to reduce the huge unemployment among minorities specially Muslims.
• Priority needs to be given to Minorities in EGS with proper monitoring of covera
ge.
• The labour force need to be provided with job oriented training under the Appren
tice Act to enable them to have better job opportunities.
There is an urgent need to ensure upgradation of skills of minorities so that th
ey can compete better in the market. Credit flow must be unhampered and easy to
access, specially in occupations which have been the traditional forte of minor
ity categories. A suitable marketing strategy needs to be worked out on the line
s of TRIFED to market the products manufactured by Small Muslim Artisans.
• NMDFC providing credit to minorities have been facing the problems of insuffici
ent amount for disbursing loans. There is need to restructure the schemes so th
at they become more sustainable. The corporation need to be thoroughly professi
nalised so that the programmes financed by them help develop entrepreneurial ski
lls of the minority loanees. The strength and capability of NMDFC must be augme
nted. Minority students who can not continue their education after schooling be
provided with vocational training/skill training programs in ITIs/Polytechnics.
These institutions should have adequate seats on population basis and should b
e located closer to minority concentrated areas.
C) Under improving the conditions of living of minorities, only IAY, IHSDP
and JNNURM are included.
Further, this new 15 point program for development of minorities do not
include any welfare scheme for minorities youth and no provision is made to earm
ark the funds in any of the Health Scheme like National Food Security Mission, N
ational Rural Health Mission (NRHM), National Vector Borne Disease Control Progr
amme, National Program for control of Blindness, Revised National TB Control Pro
gram, National Leprosy Eradication Program, Immunisation, AIDS Control Program,
Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana, Integrated Child Protecti
on Scheme, National Program for Elderly.
Under better infrastructure development, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojan
a, Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission, Total Sanitation Campaign, Pradhan Mantr
i Gram Sadak Yojana (PMSGY), Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY), Pradhan
Mantri Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY) are not included in the present P.M s new 15 poin
t programme.
Recently in the end of October 2009, three schemes ; National Rural Drin
king Water Programme (NRDWP), Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small
and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) and Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) are app
roved by Govt. of India for minority welfare.
Public distribution system has emerged as a poverty alleviation measure
and has become a permanent feature in Indian Economy. All over the world, it ha
s been understood that it is not the optimum levels of the production alone, but
the levels of equitable distribution that can ensure maximum welfare of the lar
gest population. Under public distribution system, the Government has adopted m
any welfare schemes by allocating and off taking the food grains such as rice an
d wheat e.g.
• Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDM)
• Scheme for supply of food grains to Hostels/Welfare Institutions.
• Wheat Based Nutrition Programme (WBNP)
• Annapurna Scheme
• Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana (SGRY)
• Nutritional Programme for Adolescent Girls (NPAG)
• National Food for Work Programme (NFFWP)
• Emergency Feeding Programme (EFP)
Except SGRY, in any of the above scheme, 15% targets are not earmarked for the d
eserving minorities, hence they are being marginalized by food security benefits
.
Although the main objective of the Eleventh Five Year Plan is " Faster a
nd More Inclusive Growth". This plan is designed to reduce poverty and focus on
bridging the various divides that continue to fragment our society. Inclusive
growth demands that all social groups have equal access to the services provided
by the State.
But the P.M s New 15 Point Program seems to be failed to achieve the des
ired goal of XI Plan due to non inclusion of aforementioned National level devel
opment programs for benefiting the minorities.
• The desired "inclusive growth" can be achieved by providing equal opportunities
to minorities and all the welfare programmes must not be just suggestive in natu
re. The 15 % targets ( with specific distribution among minorities as per their
population) under all the central welfare schemes must be made mandatory.
• Special component plan for Minorities just like that for SCs & STs can only sol
ve this problem for which Minorities Budgeting Methodology must be followed in U
nion Budget.
• As evident from the Sachar Committee, Muslims are far behind than the SCs, STs,
OBCs and other minorities. The special Muslim Minorities Component Plan is the
need of hour which must be implemented in forthcoming Five Year Plans. It must
have the provisions for earmarking population proportionate funds in each Centra
l Ministry and Department for the development of Muslims and other minorities as
that provided for SCs, STs, OBCs.
A critical look on the achievements for 15% of the allocation earmarked
for Minorities under various National level schemes reveals following findings;
1) The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme has budgetary al
location of Rs. 44,400 Cr. in XI Plan period. It s 15% means Rs. 6,660 Cr. must
be utilised for minorities.
Year Budget Allocation Funds Released 15% targeted for Minorities
2007-08 5293 Cr. 5170.34 Cr. 793.95 Cr.
2008-09 6300 Cr. 6294.50 Cr. 945.00 Cr.
2009-10 6705 Cr. 3598.59 Cr.
(upto 31/8/2009) 1005.75 Cr.
In October 2008, the Government took a major initiative to universalize
ICDS by increasing the number of Anganwadis to 14 lakh from 10 lakh. While expa
nding the scheme, focus has been given to SC/ST/Minorities dominated areas. 2.6
6 lakh number of Anganwadis were sanctioned under 3rd phase of expansion of ICDS
in 2008-09, out of which 37,672 (14.13%) number of Angwanwadis are in 1228 iden
tified CD Blocks where minority population is 25% and above including 10715 AWCs
in 32 MCDs.
• Hence, out of the total 13.56 lakh number of operational Anganwadi Centres, very
few of them are operational for minorities (just 37,672). This scheme needs t
o be extended in all blocks having minority population 15% and above.
A micro level analysis must be performed to assess the further needs aft
er universalization of ICDS in all habitation.
2) Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) for the year 2008-09, according to HRD
Ministry s report upto 31st December 2008, published on 12th May 2009, only 6,9
72 number of teachers were appointed against targeted sanctioned 21,945 posts (
31% achievement ), out of total 1.07 lakh new teachers recruitment. In Minority
concentrated 90 districts identified, 4,404 new primary schools were targeted f
or the construction, out of which only 3,226 schools were constructed while tota
l 52,431 number of schools construction was approved during 2008-09. 4,154 new
upper primary schools were to be established, but 2,238 schools are started ( 5
3.87 % achievement ). 1.75 lakh additional class rooms were approved for constr
uction, out of which 21,102 were planned to be constructed for Minorities, but 1
4,142 additional class rooms were constructed ( 67.01 % achievement.) Apart fro
m this, the report for the following targets is not published.
Construction of Toilets in 7,132 schools (it s 15% means 1,069 Minority
schools) ; Providing Drinking Water Facilities in 24,399 schools ( 3,659 minorit
y schools); Provision of Free Text Books to 8.97 Cr. students ( 1.34 Cr. minori
ty students) ; School grant to 11.82 lakh schools (1.773 lakh minority schools)
; Teacher grant to 41.47 lakh teachers (6.22 lakh minority teachers @ Rs. 500/-
per teacher ) ; School Building maintenance grant to 10.18 lakh schools ( 1.527
lakh minority schools) and Education Guarantee Scheme Centres Alternative and In
novative Education Facilities for 64.73 lakh children ( 9.70 lakh minority child
ren).
In short, out of Rs. 13,100 crore allocated for SSA during 2008-09, Rs. 1,965 C
r. must have been utilized for minorities (15% share).
• This report reveals the under achievements of various provisions / programs earm
arked for minorities. Hence PM s New 15 Point Program for development of minori
ties is failed in letter and spirit.
Further, under Bharat Nirman project dedicated to building a strong an
d prosperous India, in last four years, 2.4 lakh schools were opened (among whic
h 0.36 lakh must be for minorities), 8 lakh teachers were appointed( 1.2 lakh mu
st be teachers for minorities). Decision to establish 1000 polytechnics, means
150 polytechnics must be for minorities, 30 Central Universities, means 5 Univer
sities must be in minority concentrated districts benefiting exclusively the min
orities.
3) Kasturba Gandhai Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs)
Total number of Muslim girls in 1226 operational KGBVs wre 4178 (5.17 %)
out of the total girls enrolled i.e. 80880 as on 11th July, 2007.
Total number of girls enrolled in 2511 KGBVs are 1,91,123; out of which only 14,
366 are muslim girls ( 7.52 % against 15% target) as on 15th July, 2009.
Out of the total 2,180 KGBVs sanctioned, only 266 are in Muslim populate
d blocks ( over 20% Muslim population ); 622 are in SC and 583 in ST populated B
locks.
4) Swarnjayanti Gram Swarazgar Yojana (SGSY) :
In a self employment program, 60,494 Swarozgaris belonging to the minori
ties were assisted in 2006-07 against the target of 1.63 lakh (37.1% achievement
) out of a total of 10.91 lakh number of Swarozgaries targeted. This went up to
1.43 lakh Minority Rozgaris against the target of 2.02 lakh in 2007-08 (70.79% a
chievement). The target for assisting Minority Rozgaris has been fixed at 2.64
lakh in 2008-09, out of which 1.86 lakh Swarjogaris belonging to minorities were
assisted ( 70.45% achievement) Total number of Swarjozgaris assisted in this sc
heme during the year 2008-09 were 18,61,875 out of which number of SHG and indiv
idual Swarjogaris achievement for minorities were 2,75,121 ( 14.78%) ( as per th
e annual report of Ministry of Rural Development).
But the online report available shows that 55887 number of minorities me
mbers of SHGs assisted out of total 509345 and 9873 number of minority individua
l swarozgaries assisted out of total 115377 during 2008-09 which become approxim
ately 10% only.
Credit and subsidy disbursed to minorities in 2007-08 is Rs. 1,918.5 Cr. against
total of Rs. 13,789.56 Cr. ( 13.91 % for minorities ), in 2008-09, Rs. 158.27 C
r. out of total Rs. 5,185 Cr. ( 3.05 % for minorities ). Number of minority swa
rozgaris assisted under special projects during 2007-08 are 6,535 out of total 2
8,82,151 ( just 0.22% for minorities) while in 2008-09, 5,148 out of total 22,37
,374 ( just 0.23% for minorities). Number of Individual Minority Swarjogaris as
sisted for Economic Activities during 2007-08, 18,544 out of 2,44,628 ( 7.58% fo
r minorities) and in 2008-09, 31,509 out of 2,93,207 ( 10.74% for minorities).
Number of Minority Self Help Groups assisted for economic activities during 2007
-08 are 1,19,207 out of total 11,45,056 (10.41% for minorities) and in 2008-09,
1,53,472 out of 13,45,800 (11.40% for minorities).
5) Swarnjayanti Shahri Swarozgar Yojana (SJSRY)
15% of physical and financial targets regarding assistance for micro ent
erprises and skill training under SJSRY have been earmarked to minorities. 15,9
33 beneficiaries from minorities were assisted for skill training against 22539
targeted out of the total 1.5 lakh in 2006-07. In 2007-08, the achievements ro
se substantially to 41,466. While in 2008-09, upto end of December, 13,742 were
the beneficiaries among minorities. For the year 2008-09, an outlay of Rs. 540
.67 crores has been approved for the scheme, of which Rs. 81 Cr. must be utilise
d for minorities. RBI circular dated 12th Oct. 2009 restricts Branch Manager of
Banks not to reject the applications of SCs, STs. Higher official than the Bra
nch Manager can reject the application. The reason of rejection may also be comm
unicated to sponsoring agency. Similar measures are required for minorities to
get the fair benefit from SJSRY.
6) Sampoorna Gramin Razgar Yojana (SGRY) :
Under the employment generation program of SGRY, Rs. 29,091.55 crores we
re earmarked during 2006-07 for works benefiting the minorities, out of which
Rs. 1,922.26 Cr. ( i.e. 6.6% ) were utilised. During 2007-08, against earmarked
allocation of Rs. 16,056.02 Crores for minorities, works for a total amount of
Rs. 3,970.97 Cr. (i.e. 24.7%) had benefited the minorities (upto Dec. 2007). Af
ter the promulgation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the SGSR pr
ogram had subsumed with NREGS in the initial 330 districts where the Act is in o
peration.
During the year 2008-09, total budget for this scheme is Rs. 12,040 Cror
e, for benefiting minorities, Rs. 1,806 Cr. must be allocated.
7) Scheme to improve representation of Minorities in Govt. Services :
Revised guidelines to improve the representation of minorities in Govt.
Services ( Central & State ) and Public Sector undertakings have been issued by
the Department of Personnel & Training on 8th January 2007.
On 4th August, 2009, Govt. has said that, statistics of Employment of Mi
nority Community persons, including Muslims, in the Central Government Services
is not maintained on the basis of particular religion, but for all the five mino
rities as a whole.
• The number of persons belonging to the minority communities recruited during las
t three years in the various Ministries/Departments and their organisations are
given below;
2006-07 - 12,182 minority persons ( 6.95% of the total recruited)
2007-08 - 12,195 minority persons ( 8.65% of the total recruited)
2008-09 - 4,479
As per information published on 6th August 2009, the minority share in 2008-09 h
as risen in PSUs and Central Ministries and Departments, but it has dipped in pu
blic sector banks and financial institutions. The recruitment of minorities in
Banks and Financial Institutions last year was 8.86%, down from 10.19% in 2007-0
8. While in Central Ministries/Departments it was 9.42% increased from previous
year. In PSU, 7.56% minorities were recruited.
• Unfortunately, the percentage of minority candidates being selected/recruited in
various State departments is still 2-3% ( e.g. in Maharashtra Police Services).
• However, Ministry of Railways has recently declared that the forthcoming recruit
ment exams will be conducted in regional languages and Urdu, definitely it will
help to improve the representation of Muslims in Railways, likewise Staff Select
ion Exams, Defence Services Exams, Banking Services Exams, Police Recruitment Ex
ams and other State competitive exams must also be conducted in the regional as
well as Urdu languages.

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