Status of Minority Education

As the General elections 2014 are knocking at the door, the UPA 2 Government became zealous about implementing sub-quota for backward minorities, and also increased the allocation to the Minority Affairs ministry by 12%.

But the facts & figures presented below undermine the lack of planning and apathy of the UPA 2 Government towards ensuring ‘Social justice’.

•    In 2011, the UPA Government tried to introduce a 4.5% sub-quota for the backward minorities within the 27% OBC quota in central educational institutions and central government jobs, which the Honourable Supreme Court (in 2012) declined to stay the order of Andhra Pradesh High Court quashing its implementation. The Court had observed that the statutory bodies such as National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) or National Commission for Minorities (NCM) were not being consulted.

•    The question of ‘Social justice’ has been systematically ignored by during the UPA regime. The 27% OBC reservation has not been implemented properly in most of the educational institutions, with cut-offs and eligibility criterion being used to bend the rules. 

•    Constitutionally reserved seats for the SCs and STs have remained vacant for years, and filled up by the General candidates. 

•    A systematic bias against the ‘Social justice’ works within the administration. The scholarship schemes run by the government have seen continuous ignorance on the part of the Central Government. The grant in aid to the Maulana Azad Education Foundation under the Ministry of Minority Welfare has also declined sharply over this period.

•    Massive privatization and commercialization in the Technical & Professional education sector has also meant that ‘Social justice’ have been vehemently violated. The lack of a student body have acted as a catalyst.

•    While the Muslim population constitute for 18.5% of the total population, their representation is miniscule - only 2.5% in bureaucracy, 3% in IAS (Indian Administrative Service), 4% in IPS (Indian Police Service) and only 1.8% in IFS (Indian Foreign Service) – underlining the poor exposure of education and their lesser representation in executive services mean their lesser role in policy-implementation (Source : RajindarSachar Committee)

•    Between 2006-07 and 2011-12, the representation of the Muslims increased from 1.23 crores to 1.87 crores (an increase of 52%) in primary level, and at upper primary level it increased from 35lakhs to 72lakhs (an increase of 105.7%). Yet, the matriculation education is much lower than the SCs and STs in both the rural and the urban areas, thereby stressing that this improvement is not enough. Attempt should be made to create more interest among the minority students to reduce the drop-out rate, as well as to increase enrolment in elementary education.

•    In higher education, the participation of minority students is too poor, as Muslim OBCs are much behind Hindu OBCs, SCs and STs.

•    Several recommendations of the RajindarSachar Committee such as the setting up of Equal Opportunity Commissions, linking of aid to University Grants Commission (UGC) to various colleges and universities have not been implemented.

•    The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) and National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) have not been given constitutional status.

•    The promise of establishing 4 minority universities is far from being materialised.

•    The pressure of the Left parties resulted in the de-saffronization of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) curriculum during 2004-2009 (UPA-I), prior to which the textbooks were changed to please the Hindu fundamentalists such as RSS and VHP (during the NDA rule).