इंडियन आवाज़     02 Oct 2023 02:46:44      انڈین آواز

Modi against education of minorities

Six years have passed since the Central government under a Prime Minister’s scheme started offering pre-matriculation scholarships every year to hundreds boys and girls of minority communities but Gujarat is yet to implement the scheme .

At least 60,000 Muslim students are eligible for these scholarships in Gujarat but the state has consistently refused to implement the scheme, thus depriving thousands of school-children of the financial aid.

Khaleej Times quoting Gyasuddin Shaikh, a local Congress legislator, reports that the Narendra Modi government does not want to chip in with its share of just 25 per cent of the total amount of the scholarships that comes to merely Rs. 12.5 million annually.

The Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) called a meeting of Muslim leaders to discuss the injustice being done to minority students.

Shaikh, who participated in the debate, also expressed the lack of clarity in procedures governing implementation of various scholarship schemes, adding that it was time the quota for Muslim, Christian, Parsi and Sikh beneficiaries was increased substantially.

The speakers, who also included prominent social activists like Kalim Ansari (Gujarat SIO chief), Shafi Madni (Gujarat Jamaat-e-Islami chief) and Kasam Vora (CEO, Gujarat Sarvajanik Education Society), rightly called for a single-window clearance for scholarship applications from minorities and suggested setting up of a nodal agency for implementation of minority welfare schemes which can report directly to the Centre.

Madni said, New Delhi was well aware of the ‘ill-intentions of the state administration which had failed to channelise the Centre’s 75 per cent share, adding that scholarships worth Rs100 million lapsed every year.

The SIO will launch an awareness campaign among the masses and also mobilise resources to influence the government machinery and the political parties for sincere implementation of the schemes intended for the minorities.

However, with assembly polls nearing, reliable government officials say Modi, who has been meeting more and more Muslim leaders of late, is contemplating reconsidering his earlier decision not to provide the pre-matriculation scholarships to minority students.

According to them, Modi had taken a particular view three years ago at the National Development Council meeting in Delhi in December 2007, where he declared that giving scholarships to minority students was discriminatory against other backward sections of society.

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