Memorandum sent by IOS and IAMSS to Hon’ble Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India, New Delhi (September 05, 2014)
Hon’ble Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani,
Union Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD),
Govt. of India, New Delhi
Sub: Memorandum on behalf of Institute of Objective Studies (IOS), and Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists (IAMSS), New Delhi
The educational backwardness of Muslims of India is too well known as on most parameters they are doing worse than other communities. If there was any doubt about their backwardness, Sachar Committee has authoritatively put all such doubts to rest and exposed the myth of their ‘appeasement’. The pathetic state of Muslim backwardness requires an urgent and remedial response from the Ministry of HRD.
Indian Constitution provides for equality of citizens and puts the responsibility on the State to ensure protection, preservation and realization of rights of minorities. Our management of diversity is rated as the best example of pluralism and heterogeneity. The acid test of a ‘just state’ is the amount of protection enjoyed by the minorities. It was heartening to note that our Hon’ble Prime Minister in his remarkable Independence Day address made a bold call for a ten year moratorium on communal riots. But then we need to move beyond security issues. Similarly the Muslim community felt hugely reassured by the Hon’ble Prime Minister when he from the floor of Lok Sabha observed that the nation cannot grow if Muslims continue to lag behind and if one part of the body has some injury or pain, the whole body would feel the pain of it. Similar assurances were given by the Former Prime Minister when addressing the National Development Council (NDC). He had declared that minorities have the ‘first claim on national resources’. The election manifesto of BJP in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, also talked about “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.Thus Muslims must get an equitable share in the national developmental cake.
In view of the aforementioned commitments, declarations and assurances, the Institute of Objective Studies as well as Indian Association of Muslim Social Scientists which represents Muslim intellectuals and social scientists respectively demands that concerted efforts be made by the MHRD Ministry to educate Muslims of India, particularly Muslim girls by accepting our following demands:
1. The Government should immediately start collecting data on the educational backwardness of Muslims from Class I to Class VIII under DISE project and from Class IX to Class XII under Secondary Education Management Information System (SEMIS) project as reliable data on participation of Muslims at various levels of enrolment is not available. Similarly, comprehensive system of collection of data may be introduced for Higher Education.
2. The scholarship scheme available to SCs and STs in terms of ‘eligibility and rates’ must be extended to minorities as Muslims are almost as backward or even more on some parameters than SCs and STs. Just like SC/ST students, Muslim students should not be asked to pay fee prior to admission in any educational institution and their fees should be reimbursed to the concerned institution by the Government.
3. Since Right to Education Act has been amended in 2012 and Madrasas & Maktabs have been excluded from Right to Education Act, financial assistance under Sarva Siksha Abhyan (SSA) should be again given to them because Art.350 provides for giving of education in mother tongue and these Madrasas and Maktabs do impart education in mother tongue.
4. Muslim girls should be given preference in admission to Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidhyalays (KGBVs)
5. Out of 2500 model schools to be setup in Public Private Partnership at least 250 should be reserved for Muslims. In these institutions also Muslim Girls may be preferentially admitted.
6. At least two schools on the pattern of Navodaya Vidhyalaya (NVs) may be opened in the identified 90 Muslim concentrated districts.
7. The diversity of the nation should be reflected in all education institutions particularly institutions of higher education. MHRD should frame a policy to ensure diversity in all institutions under its administrative control.
With warm regards,
(Dr. M. Manzoor Alam)
Hon’ble Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani
Minister of Human Resource Development
Room No.302, Shastri Bhawan, C-Wing,
Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road,
New Delhi – 110001