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UP To Review Implementation of Welfare Schemes for Minorities

Inside India

, by MOHAMMAD NAUSHAD KHAN

Minorities take centre stage in the political arena whenever elections are on the card. Be it in a state, or at the centre, political parties have their own way to woo Muslims either by taking stock of what has already been done or what can be offered further to attract them. Uttar Pradesh has always been the focal point in the Indian polity and Muslims to a greater extent a deciding factor as to who will get the maximum seats. Now, in order to take stock of the situation, Samajwadi Party has constituted a 6-member committee to find out how far Sachar Committee recommendations have been implemented in the state.

The step to form a review committee was taken soon after the visit of K Rahman Khan, Minority Minister in May 2013. The Minority Minister at that point of time had said the Sachar Committee had made 72 recommendations for the welfare of the Muslims and the Central government has implemented 66 recommendations while the remaining six were not accepted by the government. The Samajwadi Party, in its last assembly election manifesto, had promised to implement recommendations of Sachar Committee as soon as possible.

The committee has been asked to prepare a report on the implementation of Sachar recommendations which the state government is entitled to do and if some of them have not been implemented as yet then its report would be sent to the concerned ministry or department with a guideline to expedite the implementation process. The report is likely to be submitted in the monsoon session of the Assembly. The committee is also expected to find means for recognition of degrees from madrasas so that they can become eligible for competitive exams. Affiliating or linking madrasas with a higher secondary school board, so that those willing can join the mainstream institution after passing from madrasa, is also on the card.

The Union Government too, in February 2013, constituted a high power committee to assess implementation of Sachar Committee recommendations following complaints from civil society and Muslim groups. Most of them had complained that schemes for the welfare of the minorities have failed to benefit the intended beneficiaries. The decision to go for such a review of the welfare schemes for minorities was taken after many delegations led by Muslim groups met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to inform that that the minority welfare schemes were not reaching the right persons. Former National Advisory Council member Harsh Mander has termed the MSDP programme as ineffective. 

A Parliamentary Standing Committee last year had also criticised the government for not being serious to the recommendations of the Sachar Committee. The Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment condemned the Minority Affairs Ministry by pointing that all the recommendations of the Sachar Committee are not being implemented seriously except for certain schemes like the scholarship and the scheme of grant-in-aid through Maulana Azad Foundation. Chief scholar at the U.S. India Policy Institute Abusaleh Shariff holds that there is no perceptible change in the status of Muslims on the ground.



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