Sachar Committee recommendations

EducationWorld July 08 | EducationWorld

A 403 page report titled Prime Ministers High Level Committee on Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community of India, tabled in Parliament in November 2006, and prepared by a seven member committee chaired by Justice (Retd) Rajinder Sachar, observes that the problems confronting Indias 150 million strong Muslim community broadly relate to issues of identity, security and equity flowing from the double burden of being perceived as anti-national and as being appeased at the same time.According to the committees report, the Muslim community which constitutes almost 15 percent of Indias population is under- represented in government, civil services, the armed forces and in Indian industry. Pinpointing education as an area of grave concern for the Muslim community…, the report observed:

* The participation of Muslims in the professional and managerial cadre is low

* The average quantum of bank loans disbursed to Muslims is two-thirds of the amount disbursed to other minorities. In too many cases it is half

* There is a clear and significant inverse association between proportion of the Muslim population and provision of educational infrastructure in village Indian Muslim concentration villages are not well served with pucca approach roads and local bus stops

* A substantially larger proportion of Muslim households in urban India are in the less than Rs.500 per month expenditure bracket

* The work participation rate (WPR) shows a sharp difference between Hindu-OBCs (67 percent) and Muslims. The share of Muslim-OBCs in government/ PSU jobs is much lower than of Hindu-OBCs

The committees prescription for madarsa reforms includes:

* Mechanisms to link them with higher secondary school boards so that students wanting to shift to a regular/mainstream education can do so after having attended a madarsa

* Provision of equivalence to madarsa certificates/degrees for subsequent admission into institutions of higher education

* Recognition of madarsa certification for writing competitive civil services, banks, defence services and other such public examinations

Other recommendations to improve the socio-economic condition of the community, which exhibits deficits and deprivation in practically all dimensions of development, include:

* Creation of a National Data Bank (NDB) where all relevant data for various socio-religious communities is maintained

* Establishment of an autonomous Assessment and Monitoring Authority to evaluate the extent of development benefits

* An Equal Opportunity Commission to look into the grievances of deprived groups

* Providing incentives to institutions practising diversity and offering equal opportunities in education, governance, private employment and housing

* Evaluation of the content of the school textbooks to eliminate religious and other discrimination

* The University Grants Commission should evolve a system where grants are allocated to colleges and universities encouraging diversity of the student population

* Providing hostel facilities at reasonable prices for minority community students on a priority basis

* Providing easy access to priority sector bank advances to minority community institutions

* Ensuring community representation on interview panels and boards

* Provision of financial and other support to initiatives in traditional minority community trades and occupations

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