21 Feb 2014

Educational Backwardness and Development Deficits of Minorities Addressed Pre and Post Matric Scholarships Increase Many Fold

Government of India
The efforts to address the educational backwardness and development deficits of Muslim community in India in the wake of Sachar Committee Recommendations made in November 2006 have started showing positive impact. 

The Ministry of Minority Affairs adopted a multi pronged approach to tackle the problem. The Ministry has tried to identify and create infrastructure and schemes for minorities by incurring expenditure of Rs.11544.01 crore  in last seven years.

- 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12):  Funds allocated: Rs. 7990 Crore; Expenditure: Rs. 6817.37 Crore

- During 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017):  Gross Budgetary Support for Plan Period: Rs. 17323 Crore (About two and half time increase in the outlay)

- During 2012-13: Funds allocated: Rs. 3135 Crore (Budget Estimates); Rs. 2200 Crore (Revised Estimates); Expenditure: Rs. 2158.01 Crore

- During 2013-14:  Funds allocated: Rs. 3511 Crore (Budget Estimates); Expenditure: Rs. 2568.63 Crore (upto 31.01.2014); Till 31.01.2014, the expenditure has reached to 73.16% of the Budget Estimate.

Main three fronts identified and addressed by the Ministry in respect of Sachar Committee Recommendations included Educational empowerment through Scholarship Schemes, Multi-sectoral Development Programme and Protection and Development of Waqf Properties. Besides, some other Important Initiatives have also been taken to support the ongoing efforts.

Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP)
- As a follow up of Sachar Committee recommendations, MsDP was launched in 2008-09 to address the development deficits by creating socio-economic infrastructure and providing basic amenities. Under MsDP, the unit of planning is Minority Concentration Blocks (MCBs). 710 MCBs and 66 Minority Concentration Towns (MCTs) have been identified for implementation of MsDP during 12th Plan.

- During the 11th Five Year Plan projects worth Rs. 3733.90 Crore were  approved and  Rs. 2935.93 Crore were released. Under the ongoing 12th Five Year Plan so far  (as on 31.01.2014)  projects worth  Rs. 2286.25 Crore have been   approved and  Rs. 1385.52 Crore released.                            

Scholarship Schemes
- 1.22 crore Pre-matric Scholarships were awarded and Rs. 1326.87 crores released during 11th Five Year Plan.  During 12th Plan so far (2012-13 and 2013-14),1.38 Crore Pre-matric Scholarships have been awarded and Rs. 1705.42 crores released.

- 17.87 lakh Post-matric Scholarships were awarded and Rs. 820.96 crores released during 11th Five Year Plan. During 12th Plan so far (2012-13 and 2013-14), 14.39 lakh Post-matric Scholarships have been awarded and Rs. 730.40 crores released.

- 1.63 lakh Merit-cum-Means based Scholarships were awarded and Rs.427.61 crores released during 11th Five Year Plan. During 12th Plan so far (2012-13 and 2013-14), 1.51lakh Merit-cum-Means based Scholarships have been awarded and Rs. 401.23 crores released.

- Altogether, in case of Pre-Matric, Post –Matric and Merit-cum Means Scholarship schemes, since 11th Plan so far, 2.96 Crore Scholarships have been awarded and Rs. 5412.49 Crore have been released. 

- Under Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme (introduced 2008-09), the coverage has increased 13 times while under Post-matric Scholarship (introduced 2007-08), this increase is more than 33 times.  The coverage of beneficiaries under Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship has increased 4 times since its introduction in 2007-08.

Protection and Development of Waqf Properties
To improve the management of Wakf properties and streamline the functioning of State Waqf Boards, the Waqf (Amendment) Act 2013 has been recently enacted. Among other provisions, the Amendment Act strengthens Central Waqf Council, ensures survey and recording of Waqf records, checks encroachments on Waqf properties and enhances lease period from the present 3 years to 30 years for commercial activities, education and health purposes. 

Ministry has set up a new National Waqf Development Corporation Limited (NAWADCO) in January, 2014. This is an ambitious initiative to finance the development of Waqf properties for public purposes throughout the country.

Ministry also implements the scheme for “Computerization of records of State Waqf Boards” since 2009, and introduced a web-enabled portal software called Waqf Management System of India (WAMSI) to develop centralized database of Waqf Properties.

Union Cabinet has approved a new stand-alone legislation namely “Waqf Properties (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Bill, 2013”.  Ministry is taking action to introduce the Bill in Parliament. The Bill aims to prevent alienations and encroachments on Wakf properties.

Other Important Initiatives
For economic empowerment, National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) has disbursed concessional loans to 6.44 lakh deprived minority beneficiaries to the tune of Rs. 1667.41 Crore during 11th Plan Period and 12th Plan Period so far.

Ministry has launched a new scheme “Seekho aur Kamao (Learn & Earn)” for skill development of minorities. The scheme will guarantee minimum 75% employment of trained minority youths and out of them 50% will be in organized sector. During 12th Five Year Plan, Ministry targets to upgrade the skills of about 3.5 lakh minority youths with Rs. 750.00 Crore.

For women empowerment, Ministry started a Leadership Development Programme for Minority Women during 2012-13 and supported training of 36950 women in 12 States with an amount of Rs.10.45 Crore.  During 2013-14, Ministry aims to train 40,000 women with an amount of Rs. 15.00 Crore.

Ministry has launched a unique scheme with the name “JiyoParsi” during 2013-14 for containing population decline of Parsis in India.

Constitution of Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) has been cleared by the Ministry of Law and Justice and has been submitted for consideration of Cabinet.
Ministry has launched a dedicated Toll Free Helpline “Khidmat” – 1XXX-XX-2001, to assist the members of minority communities and provide information on schemes/programmes of the Ministry. The helpline works on all working days between 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
To improve public interface, generate awareness and develop dialogue with target communities, Ministry has launched a quarterly tri-lingual (Hindi, English and Urdu) magazine “Minority Today” on 29th January, 2014

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