Ministry of Minority Affairs has appointed a committee in the light of the findings of the Sachar Committee on the educational status of Muslims. To make the situation better for minorities, the committee has recommended a three-tier model for their education — Kendriya Vidyalaya-styled central schools, community colleges and national institutes. The report also provides awareness over the educational backwardness of Muslims, lower rates of literacy among Muslims, the “alarming” difference in enrollment rates of Muslims and other communities and disparities in higher education. All of these details had been elaborated in the report of the committee headed by Rajendra Sachar set up by the UPA government in 2005 – submitted to the current minorities minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday.
“…The Committee arrived at a consensus for a three tier pyramid structure having Central Schools at the bottom of the pyramid, Community Colleges at the middle level, and National Institutes at the top having Masteral, Doctoral, and Post-Doctoral level programmes and research infrastructure at par with international standards. The Committee feels that these Institutions would serve as role models for other initiatives that may come from the private and non-governmental sector,” the report mentioned.
It was the Maulana Azad Education Foundation headed by the Union minorities minister that constituted the 11-member committee led by former IAS officer Afzal Amanullah. A recommendation to set up 211 Central Schools (167 in rural areas/blocks of minority-dominant and minority-concentrated districts, and 44 in minority-dominant and minority-concentrated cities across the country) that will be co-educational, having only day scholars, following the CBSE curriculum from class 1 to 12, with three streams of education has been provided by the committee’s report. “It is recommended that the norms of Navodaya Vidyalaya and Kendriya Vidyalaya should be suitably amended and made applicable,” the report dictated.
According to the report, 25 Community Colleges must be set up across the country in line with the 2012 UGC guidelines and five national institutes in the fields of science & tech, health, architecture, climate change, and disaster management. The entire set-up bust on the firm grounds of the Acts of Parliament.
In the next six months, Naqvi ensured, Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centres, providing job-oriented skill training in various fields, will be established in Hyderabad, Noida, Lucknow, Jaipur, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Indore, Allahabad, Mysore, Chennai, Goa, Guwahati, Kolkata, Patna, Kishanganj, Dehradun, Shahjahanpur, Rampur, Ranchi, Giridih, Mewat, Tijara, Panipat, Delhi, Uddhamsingh Nagar, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Mumbai etc. He advocated that in order to tackle radicalism and communalism, education had to be made as the central means. In the civil services examination 2016, Naqvi said, a record number of youth from minority communities have been declared qualified. The figure is the highest since Independence. Of those ranked, 50 were Muslims. Bilal Mohiuddin Bhatt from Jammu & Kashmir has got 10th rank.
“Youths belonging to minority community, especially those from Jammu & Kashmir, should take inspirations from these candidates who have cleared civil services examination. Youths from Kashmir should not come under influence of anti-social elements. They should leave activities such as stone pelting. They should join the mainstream, get a better education and better employment. They should defeat those forces who are the biggest enemies of the progress of these youth,” Naqvi advocated.