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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 18, 2007
Centre to implement nearly all Sachar recommendations
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Centre to implement nearly all Sachar recommendations

The Centre today decided to accept nearly all the recommendations of the Sachar Committee, which had presented its report last year on the status of Muslims in the country.

New Delhi, May 18 : The Centre today decided to accept nearly all the recommendations of the Sachar Committee, which had presented its report last year on the status of Muslims in the country.

Accepting the recommendations, the UPA government has taken major decisions for the implementation of the report that includes targeted intervention for improvement of basic amenities and employment opportunities in 90 identified minority concentration districts, which are backward in terms of various developmental parameters.

"Appropriate measures will be taken to improve the deficiency in civic amenities and economic opportunities in 338 identified towns and cities with a substantial population of minorities, including Muslims. An inter-ministerial task force is already working on this to recommend appropriate strategies in this regard," a government release stated today.

An inter-ministerial group will be planning and monitoring the implementation of a comprehensive programme for skill and entrepreneurship development among Muslims, and will also be ensuring easy and smooth access to credit to the minorities, and Muslims in particular.

'Clusters' with a substantial presence of Muslims will be given focused attention.

The Centre now plans to open more branches of Public Sector banks in Muslim concentration areas.

Banks and financial institutions will promote micro-finance among the minorities, especially women and RBI will maintain District-wise and bank-wise data regarding disposal of applications on its web site and the flow of credit to the minorities, including Muslims would be monitored regularly, the release further stated.

To improve the status of education among the Muslims, the Centre will launch a multi-pronged strategy for addressing the problem of educational backwardness of the Muslim community.

The outreach of upper primary schools will be expanded, particularly for Muslim girls, and where necessary, with "girls only" schools, more Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBV) will be opened in areas with substantial Muslim population, and priority would be given to the opening of secondary and senior secondary schools in areas of Muslim concentration.

The Government also intends to launch a special literacy drive in Muslim-dominated Districts and additional allocation of funds will be made for opening women's hostels in schools and universities.

The Madarasa Modernization Programme (MMP) will also be revised to enhance the components eligible for assistance and the mid-day meal scheme will be extended, especially in educationally backward Muslim concentration blocks.

On the issue of equivalence of qualifications from madarsas for subsequent access to higher education will also be addressed.

The Centre has already issued guidelines to improve the representation of minorities, including Muslims in Government, public sector enterprises, public sector banks etc.

A comprehensive amendment of the Wakf Act has also been proposed to address the existing deficiencies, and a suitable agency would assist in the development of Wakf properties so that the augmented income could be utilized for the purposes intended.

A high-level committee has been constituted to review the Delimitation Act and the concerns expressed by the Sachar Committee regarding anomalies in the representation of Muslims will be considered in the course of this review.

An Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) will also be set up to look into grievances regarding discrimination for which an expert group will study and recommend its structure and functions.

Another expert group will propose an appropriate "diversity index" to promote diversity and social inclusion in educational institutions, work places and living spaces.

A National Data Bank (NDB) and an autonomous Assessment and Monitoring Authority (AMA) will also be set up, which will analyse those data.

These decisions are in addition to the Prime Minister's New 15 Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities.

The committee led by Justice Rajindar Sachar submitted its report in November, 2006. The committee was set up by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to prepare a report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community.

ANI

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