Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Minority Affairs
11-August-2015 16:52 IST
Status of Conditions of Minorities

Six religious communities viz Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains have been notified as minority communities under Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.

The National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) constituted under the Chairmanship of Justice Ranganath Misra to recommend measures for the welfare of socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities submitted its report in 2007 and the same was laid on the Table of both the Houses of Parliament on 18.12.2009. The findings of the NCRLM on the conditions of minorities are available in the report.

A High Level Committee, constituted under the Chairmanship of Justice (Retired) Rajinder Sachar to gather data/information for preparation of a comprehensive report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India, in its report in 2006 had indicated that the Muslim community lags behind the mainstream in social, economic and educational sectors. The report had been laid on the Table of both the Houses of Parliament on 30.11.2006.

To improve the socio-economic and educational status of Minorities, following schemes are being implemented by this Ministry:

(i)                  Multi-sectoral Development Programme: The Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) is an area development initiative to address the development deficits by creating socio-economic infrastructure and providing basic amenities. The Programme was implemented in 90 Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs) of the country during the 11th Five Year Plan and 2012-13. The Programme has been restructured in 2013-14 to make it more effective and more focused on the targeted minorities for its implementation during the 12th Five Year Plan period. In the restructured MsDP, the unit area of planning has been changed to blocks/towns/clusters of villages instead of district for sharper focus on the minority concentration areas.

(ii)                Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme: Under this Scheme, scholarships are awarded to minority students up to class X, who have secured not less than 50% marks in the previous final examination and the annual income of their parents / guardian from all sources does not exceed Rs. 1.00 Lakh. 30% of the scholarships are earmarked for girl students. This is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% central assistance.

(iii)               Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme:- Under this Scheme, scholarships are awarded to minority students from class XI onwards who have secured not less than 50% marks or equivalent grade in the previous final examination and the annual income of whose parents/guardian from all sources does not exceed Rs. 2.00 lakh. 30% of the scholarships are earmarked for girl students. This is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% central assistance.

(iv)              Merit-cum-Means Based Scholarship Scheme: The Merit-cum-Means Based Scholarship Scheme provides financial assistance to the poor and meritorious minority students pursuing professional studies at graduate and post-graduate levels. 30% of the scholarships are earmarked for girl students. This is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% central assistance.

(v)                Maulana Azad National Fellowship - The Fellowship is provided to students from minority communities, as notified by the Central Government to pursue higher studies such as M.Phil and Ph.D. The Fellowship covers all Universities/Institutions recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC).The Fellowship is on the pattern of UGC Fellowships awarded to research students pursuing regular and full time M.Phil and Ph.D. courses. 30% of the scholarships are earmarked for eligible girl students.

(vi)              Free Coaching & Allied Scheme – This scheme is to assist students belonging to the minority communities by way of special coaching for qualifying examinations for admission in technical/ professional courses such as engineering, medical and Competitive examinations for recruitment to Group ‘A’ , ‘B’ and ‘C’ services and other equivalent posts under the Central and State governments including public sector undertakings.

(vii)             Padho Pardesh- Interest Subsidy on Educational Loans – This scheme is to award interest subsidy to meritorious students belonging to economically weaker sections of notified minority communities so as to provide them better opportunities for higher education abroad at Masters and Ph.D levels and enhance their employability.

(viii)           Support to minority candidates clearing Prelims conducted by UPSC/SSC, State Public Service Commission (PSC) etc. – This Scheme is to provide financial support to the minority candidates clearing prelims conducted by Union Public Service Commission, Staff Selection Commission and State Public Service Commissions to adequately equip them to compete for appointment to Civil Services in the Union and the State Governments and to increase the representation of the minorities in the Civil Services.

(ix)               Seekho aur Kamao (Learn & Earn): It is a placement linked skill development programme for minority youths, being implemented since the year 2013-14. This scheme aims at upgrading the skills of minority youths in various modern as well as traditional skills which can earn them suitable employment or make them suitably skilled to go for self-employment. The scheme ensures placements of minimum 75% trained youths, out of which at least 50% placement is in organized sector.

(x)                Nai Roshni (Leadership Development of Minority Women): This is a scheme for women empowerment through sensitization and leadership Development of Minority Women being implemented all over the country by this Ministry since 2012-13. The objective of the scheme is to empower and instill confidence in women, by providing knowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with Government systems, banks, and intermediaries at all levels.

(xi)              “USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development)”: The scheme was launched on 14.5.2015 to preserve rich heritage of traditional arts/crafts of minorities, set standards of crafts practiced by minorities, build capacity of poor traditional artisans/craftsmen and link them with market.

(xii)             National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC): NMDFC is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under administrative control of this Ministry, provides concessional loans for self-employment and income generating activities to eligible minorities. The loans are extended to individuals or Self-Help Groups through State Channelizing Agencies (SCAs) nominated by the concerned State Governments/UT administrations.

(xiii)           Maulana Azad National Academy for Skills (MANAS): MANAS has been established on 11/11/2014, as Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for addressing all skill development needs of minority communities, to ensure provision of sustainable livelihoods to them, with emphasis on self-employment. Based on market demand, the Academy provides an All India level training framework for Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Programme (E&SDP) based on PPP model, for imparting training to minority population, with concessional credit linkages.

(xiv)           Jiyo Parsi: “For containing the population decline of the Parsi community, a Central Sector Scheme ‘Jiyo Parsi’ was launched during 2013-14. The objective of this scheme is to reverse the declining trend of Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions to stabilize their population and balance their population in India.

(xv)            Nai Manzil: An integrated education and livelihood initiative for the minority communities scheme has been launched on 08.08.2015 on pilot basis for formal education of school dropouts and Madarsa students to enhance their education and skills in various trade to enable them for gainful employment.

This information was given  by Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Minister of State for Minority Affairs in response to a written question in Rajya  Sabha  today.