Three crore students belonging to Minority communities benefited with various scholarship programmes- Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said that the Government has broken all barriers of regional and social imbalance in terms of development and connected all the ‘ignored and neglected’ backward areas of the country with the mainstream development process. He was addressing the Zonal Coordination Meeting of Ministers, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries incharge of Social Welfare, Minority Welfare of 11 states at Guwahati today.
The Minister said that the government, conforming to its commitment of empowerment without appeasement and development without discrimination, has been able to benefit 3 crore students belonging to poor and weaker sections of Minority communities with various scholarship programmes during the last 4 years. These beneficiaries comprises of about 1 crore 63 lakh girls.
He added that the “Pradhanmantri Jan Vikas Karykram” has proved to be a milestone in the direction of socio-economic-educational empowerment of Minorities and other weaker sections of the society.
He also informed the participants that for the first time after Independence, a campaign has been started on war-footing to provide basic amenities to ensure educational empowerment of Minorities especially girls in 308 districts across the country.
While addressing a Press Meet after the Conference, the Minister, while acknowledging the low literacy rate among Minorities especially Muslim girls, said that Central Government, keeping in mind the need for educational empowerment and employment oriented skill development, is providing school, college, polytechnic, girls hostel, ITI and skill development centre under “Pradhanmantri Jan Vikas karykram” in the “backward and ignored” areas.
Naqvi also informed the gathering that school dropout rate among Minorities especially Muslim girls, which was earlier more than 70 per cent, has now been reduced to about nearly 35 per cent due to awareness and educational empowerment programmes of the Government.
Naqvi, while asserting that there has been significant improvement in lives of weaker sections, minorities especially women during the last 4 years, mentioned that under Multi Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP), 16 Degree Colleges, 1992 School Buildings, 37,123 additional Classrooms, 1147 Hostels, 173 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), 48 Polytechnics, 38,753 Anganwadi Centres, 3,48,624 lAY(PMAY) houses, 323 Sadbhavna Mandaps, 73 Residential Schools, 494 Market sheds and 17,397 drinking water facilities have been constructed by the Central Government in the Minority concentrated areas.
The Minister informed the media that the government is planning to establish a world class educational institute in a Minority concentrated area of Assam which will prove to be a milestone in the direction of affordable, accessible and quality education to poor, weaker sections including Minorities. The foundation stone of one such institution has been recently laid at Alwar, Rajasthan, he added.
Naqvi said that more than 5 lakh 43 thousand youths have been provided employment and employment opportunities through job-oriented skill development schemes such as Seekho aur Kamao, Usttad, Garib Nawaz Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Nai Manzil etc.
During the last One year, more than 1 lakh 18 thousand artisans have been provided employment and employment opportunities with national as well as international markets through “Hunar Haat”, he added.
The Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal in his address expressed his gratefulness to the Ministry of Minority Affairs for providing Assam with more than the allocated fund under MsDP during the 12th Plan. He said, “During this period, against the total allocation of Rs. 525.26 Crore, Assam received Rs. 616.74 Crore. In 2017-18 also, the Ministry has sanctioned Rs.575.07 Crore against the annual allocation of Rs.144.45 Crore – an increase of 398 per cent. This will go a long way in alleviating the Socio-Economic condition of minority population of Assam”.
He also mentioned that Assam is going to set up 21 Model residential Schools in Minority Concentrated Districts for educational upliftment of minority students. Naqvi in his interaction with the media also expressed his satisfaction over the percentage of utilisation of funds of his ministry in Assam.