Education and Employment among Muslims in India: An Analysis of Patterns and Trends

Replying to a question about recent Survey Report of Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabadand recent NSSO Report show that muslim minorities are lagging behind when compared to other communities in different socio-economic and educational sectors, Shri K. Rahman Khan the Union Minister of Minority Affairs made the statement in Lok Sabha today. The statement says there is a working paper series of the IIMAhmedabad on “Education and Employment among Muslims in India: An Analysis of Patterns and Trends” byShri Rakesh Basant, Professor of Economics, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. The opinion(s), view(s) and conclusion(s) expressed in the working paper series are those of the authors and not that of IIM-Ahmedabad. The author in his working paper has, inter alia, observed the following:

–          Participation of Muslims is relatively low in the education space but has improved in recent years. The situation in the urban areas is, however, poor especially for Muslim males;

–          The participation of Muslims in higher education is particularly poor but once they cross the threshold of school education and other factors that affect participation in higher education, the deficits for Muslims decline significantly;

–          Household endowments alongwith location play a critical role in determining participation of Muslims in education. There is some evidence to suggest that the community does not fully appreciate the rewards of education even as returns to education are high.

–          Muslims are predominantly engaged in self-employment and their participation as regular worker especially in the tertiary sector (that has grown in recent years) in urban areas is low as compared to other socio religious communities (SRCs).

As per the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) Report on employment and unemployment situation among major religious groups in India (2009-10), inter alia, the following has been observed:

–          In 2009-10, the average monthly per capita consumer expenditure (MPCE) for Muslims was Rs.980/- as compared to all India average MPCE of Rs.1128/-.

–          Among Muslims of age 15 years and above, the literacy rates for rural males, rural females, urban males and urban females were 69%, 47%, 81% and 65% respectively.

–          In urban areas, proportion of workers engaged in self employment was the highest for Muslims. Regular employment among Muslims were lowest both in urban areas and rural areas amongst major religious groups.

–   Unemployment rate for Muslims have declined in 2009-10 as compared to 2004-05 in both rural   and urban areas. Among minorities, the unemployment rate in rural areas was lowest for   Muslims. In urban areas unemployment rate was lowest for Christians followed by Muslims.

The Government has taken various steps to improve socio-economic and educational status of minority communities in the country through Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities, which is an overarching programme covering various schemes/ initiatives of different Ministries/ Departments by either earmarking 15% of targets/ outlays for the minorities or specific monitoring of flow of benefits/ funds to minorities or areas with substantial minority population. The programme is being implemented with the objectives of enhancing opportunities for education of minorities, ensuring equitable share for minorities in economic activities and employment, improving the condition of living of minorities and preventing and controlling the communal disharmony. The steps taken to improve socio-economic and educational status of minorities are as under:

–           Education: For the educational empowerment of minorities, the Ministry of Minority Affairs is implementing three scholarship schemes, namely, Pre-matric, Post-matric and Merit-cum-means Based Scholarship Schemes, covering students from Class I to Ph. D. In addition, the Ministry is implementing Maulana Azad National Fellowship Scheme for students of M. Phil. and Ph. D. Also, Free Coaching and Allied Scheme, Support for Students clearing Preliminary exams and Schemes ofMaulana Azad Education Foundation based on the corpus fund granted by the Government, have been implemented for the benefit of minority communities. Besides, under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, being implemented by Ministry of Human Resource Development, educational infrastructure has been created by way of opening and constructing new Primary/ Upper Primary schools in Minority Concentration Areas and Residential schools for minority girls under the Kasturba Gandhi BalikaVidyalayas (KGBVs).

–           Skill Development: For improving employability and economic empowerment of minorities, various initiatives have been taken for the skill development of minority communities. Ministry of Minority Affairs is implementing ‘Seekho aur Kamao’ – Scheme for Skill Development of Minorities, Schemes of National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) for extending credit with the help of equity share capital released by the Government and Scheme for Grant-in-aid to State Channelising Agencies of NMDFC. Besides, 60 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) located in the minority concentration areas are also upgraded into Centre of Excellence.


–           Area Development: The Ministry of Minority Affairs is implementing Multi-sectoralDevelopment Programme (MsDP) for creating socio-economic infrastructure and providing basic amenities in the areas with substantial minority population. Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation are also facilitating the flow of funds to towns and cities, having a substantial concentration of minority population, under the different components ofJawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) namely, Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG), Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT), Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) and Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP).

–           Access to Credit: Credit and Term Loan under Priority Sector Lending scheme of Ministry of Finance and scheme of Micro-credit & Term Loan of NMDFC are provided to Minorities to support their economic activities.

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अल्पसंख्यकों के लिए नए सब्जबाग

नई दिल्ली [राजकेश्वर सिंह]। अल्पसंख्यकों, खासतौर से मुसलमानों की शैक्षिक, सामाजिक और आर्थिक स्थिति से सरकार वाकिफ तो पहले से ही थी, लेकिन चुनावी साल में वह उनकी ऊंची तालीम को लेकर कुछ ज्यादा ही फिक्रमंद दिखने लगी है। सरकार की नजर इस बार उच्च शिक्षा के नजरिए से अल्पसंख्यक बहुल जिलों पर है। महज आठ महीने में ही वह इन जिलों में बहुत कुछ कर गुजरना चाहती है। इतने कम समय में वह क्या कर पाएगी, यह तो बाद में पता चलेगा, लेकिन इरादा अगले मार्च तक ही अल्पसंख्यक बहुल जिलों में सौ से अधिक ग‌र्ल्स हॉस्टल बनाने और दर्जनभर से अधिक मॉडल डिग्री कॉलेज खोलने का है।

मुस्लिम समुदाय की शैक्षिक, सामाजिक और आर्थिक स्थिति पर सच्चर कमेटी की रिपोर्ट नवंबर, 2006 में आई थी। मुसलमानों की तालीम और तरक्की के लिए सरकार के पास उनकी स्थिति का सबसे सटीक आईना यह रिपोर्ट ही है। इस रिपोर्ट के बाद ही हालांकि सरकार ने देश के 90 अल्पसंख्यक बहुल जिलों में बहुक्षेत्रीय विकास कार्यक्रम चला रखा है। लेकिन, अल्पसंख्यक समुदाय के छात्रों और लड़कियों की उच्च शिक्षा के मामले में वह सात साल बाद चेत सकी। उसे फिक्र है कि मुस्लिम समुदाय की साक्षरता दर 59 प्रतिशत है, जबकि राष्ट्रीय साक्षरता दर 64.8 प्रतिशत है। लिहाजा, देश के सामाजिक व आर्थिक मामले में समावेशी विकास के लिए उच्च शिक्षा में उनकी भी पर्याप्त भागीदारी जरूरी है।

सरकार ने इन्हीं तर्को के साथ अल्पसंख्यक बहुल जिलों में 13 मॉडल डिग्री कॉलेज खोलने और लड़कियों को पढ़ने के ज्यादा बेहतर अवसर देने के लिए 101 ग‌र्ल्स हॉस्टल बनाने का फैसला किया है। किस राज्य के किस जिले में मॉडल डिग्री कॉलेज खुलेंगे और हॉस्टल बनेंगे, यह अभी तय नहीं है। अभी राज्यों से प्रस्ताव तक नहीं आ सके हैं, लेकिन केंद्र ने इस साल के लिए अपनी योजना जरूर बना ली है। इस सपने को जमीन पर उतारने के लिए सरकार सोमवार को राज्यों के उच्च शिक्षा व तकनीकी शिक्षा सचिवों से मशविरा करेगी।

अल्पसंख्यक बहुल जिलों में दो नए पॉलीटेक्निक भी खोले जाने हैं। इसके लिए दिल्ली और अरुणाचल प्रदेश को चुना जा सकता है। बशर्ते, दोनों ही राज्य सरकारें मुफ्त में जमीन देने और खर्च में भागीदारी के लिए राजी हो.

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‘Education of minority children top on agenda’

Dr Shahid Akhtar, who was appointed the chairperson of Jharkhand state minority commission on January 9, 2013, had to face many challenges to make people aware of the commission. It deals with religious and linguistic minorities. A young and dynamic Akhtar talks to Kelly Kislaya about the challenges he faced since he joined, his work and plans.

What was the condition of the commission when you joined as the chairperson?

Before me there were three other chairpersons since the commission was constituted in 2001. But when I joined, the commission was almost defunct. There was a lot of communication gap between the commission and common man. Not many knew about the commission and its functions.

What did you do for the promotion and recognition of the commission?

The first thing I did was construct a website named The next step was to establish a helpline number where people can call to complain about their grievances.

What are the common complaints you get on the helpline number?

Most of the complaints are against education institutions for not giving scholarships. Another common complaint is against the banks for not sanctioning loans to the minority communities. The problem is solved once we contact the institute or the bank.

What do you think is most important for the betterment of minorities?

I think education is the most important thing. Under right to education, there should be a school within a range of one kilometre from a locality where minorities dwell. If you look at Muslim colonies, there is not a single school in these localities. Among Muslims, 25% children do not take admission in schools and 25% drop out by the time they reach Class X. Also, you will notice that most of the child labourers belong to the minority communities.

Many a times the minority community children do not even come to know of the variousscholarship programmes of the government which are made only for them. What are you doing to spread the awareness about such programmes?

Yes, it is true. In fact, last year there was a quota of one lakh five thousand minority community students for the pre-matriculation scholarships. Only 65,000 applications were received and the officers who were in charge for giving scholarships rejected 20,000 forms. We have made sure that this time onwards transparency is maintained in the system and the applicant gets to know the reason for rejection. Also, we have hired NGOs who will organize workshops and seminars at every school in the state and inform students about the various schemes for the minority communities.

What are your plans for betterment of the minorities?

My focus is mainly on education. The central government has planned to establish six universities across the country for minority community children. I am trying to see that Jharkhand is one of the states where a university gets established. We will also try to upgrade the existing minority institutions in the state and make sure that they provide free education to 10% of the minority children. Also, I will try to establish minority women’s college and girls’ school at the district level.

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To address the low participation of the minorities especially Muslims who are
the largest section of educationally backward minorities, in the national education
system, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has taken several significant
 SarvaShikshaAbhiyan (SSA) addresses issues of access, equity and quality and
makes schools open and inclusive in the secular space of our polity. The
coverage of the Scheme has been concurrently extended to recognize
volunteering Madarsas/Maktabs supported under SSA as well as those other
volunteering Madrasas/Maktabs which may not be registered or recognized but
supported under SSA interventions in coordination with State Project
 Schemes amenable to earmarking of financial and physical targets for
minorities, have been implemented to ensure that benefit to minority
communities is beyond 15% as in case of SarvaShikshaAbhiyan (SSA) and
Kasturba Gandhi BalikaVidyalaya (KGBV) where share of minorities is upto
20%. In order to enhance participation of minorities in the national education
system, various initiatives have been undertaken – 121 districts with
concentration of Muslim population are specifically targeted for maximising
school access and eliminating infrastructure gaps through opening of 9071
new Primary Schools and 1475 Upper Primary Schools; construction of 21559
additional classrooms and recruitment of 29180 teachers.
 Mid-Day-Meal (MDM) Scheme has been extended to cover all children studying
in classes I-VIII of Government, Government Aided including National Child
Labour Project Schools, madarsas/maqtabs EGS/AIE Centres supported under
SarvaShikshaAbhiyan without any discrimination of caste, gender, etc. Under
the scheme nutritious meal of 450 calories and 12 grams of protein is provided
at primary level (classes I-V) and of 700 calories and 20 grams of protein is
provided at upper primary level (classes VI – VIII).
 Out of 3609 Kasturba Gandhi BalikaVidyalayas (KGBVs) sanctioned, 490
KGBVs have been sanctioned in blocks having over 20% muslim population out
which 475 are operational enrolling 25% muslim girls.
 Ministry has launched ‘Saakshar Bharat’ the new variant of the National
Literacy Mission on 8.9.2009 with an objective to make 70 million non-literate
adults literate by the end of the 11th Plan. The scheme has special focus on
women, belonging to Minorities. It is proposed to cover 12 million Muslims (10
million women +2 million men) under the programme. Saakshar Bharat is being
implemented in 410 districts where female literacy is less than 50%. The
programme has been rolled out in 372 districts in 25States and 1 Union
Territory. – 2 –
 Jan ShikshanSansthans (JSSs) are imparting vocational training in 33 out of
90 minority concentrated districts in the country.
 The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Teacher Education is under revision. Block
Institutes of Teacher Education (BITEs) are proposed to be established in 196
blocks having concentration of SC/ST and Minorities.
 Due to these interventions the share of Muslim children enrolled at primary &
upper primary level has gone up and those out of school have decreased.
According to District Information System of Education (DISE) the enrolment of
Muslim children at primary and upper primary level for the year 2009-10 was
13.04% & 11.25% respectively.
 Under the scheme of financial assistance for ‘Infrastructure Development for
Private Aided/Unaided Minority Institutes(IDMI) during financial year 2011-12,
Rs.48.43 crore has been released to 10 State Governments to 259 Minority
Institutions.During 2012-13, out of budget provision of Rs.50.00 crore, an
amount of Rs.2.62 crore has been released for 62 institutions in 3 States
(Kerala, Sikkim and Mizoram)
 Under the “Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas’ (SPQEM)
during the financial year 2011-12, Rs.139.53 crore has been released to 9
States for honorarium of teachers, Book Bank/Science Kits, Computer Lab and
Teachers Training etc. to Madrassa teachers teaching modern subjects in 5934
Madrassas. During 2012-13, out of budget provision of Rs.175.00 crore,
Rs.31.57 crore has been released for 1348 Madrasas in 4 States (Chhattisgarh,
MP, UP & Rajasthan)
 The scheme of RashtriyaMadhyamikShikshaAbhiyan, inter alia provides
coverage of special focus groups viz. girls’ education, children belong to SC, ST,
OBC, and Educationally Backward Minorities, which was launched in March,
2009 with the objective to enhance access to secondary education and improve
its quality. Since its inception, 9670 secondary schools have been approved, out
of which 930 have been approved in Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs).
An amount of Rs.2499.81 crore has been released out of total allocation of
funds of Rs.2512.45 crore.
 The certificates/ qualifications of the Madrasa Boards which have been granted
equivalence by the State Education Boards to that of their Secondary and
Senior Secondary qualification have been equated with corresponding
certificates of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Council of
Board of School Education in India (COBSE) and other School Examination
Boards, for the purpose of employment and entry to higher levels of education.
Consequential notification by DOP&T has since been issued on 23.2.2010.
 National Monitoring Committee on Minorities’ Education (NMCME):
The National Monitoring Committee on Minorities’ Education (NMCME) was
revived on the 7th
August, 2004 and reconstituted on expiry of its term w.e.f.
August, 2007. The term of the Committee has expired on 22nd
2010 and has been reconstituted on 23rd
December, 2012. The Committee is
chaired by the Hon’ble Minister of Human Resource Development, and has
representations from eminent educationists, Members of Parliament, representatives of State Governments and representatives of Minority
communities, educational institutions and other stake holders. Besides a
Standing Committee of the National Monitoring Committee on Minorities’
Education, five Sub-Committees on (i) Vocational Education & Skill
Development of Minorities, (ii) Implementation of Schemes Aimed at
Minorities, (iii) Mapping of Educational Requirements of Minorities – Region &
District wise, (iv) Girls’ Education and (v) Promotion of Urdu language and
enhance compatibility amongst minorities through knowledge of English have
also been constituted.The Standing Committee and Sub-Committees have to
visit States to interact with the minority communities, managements of
educational institutions and other stakeholders.
 UGC has approved/sanctioned 285 Women’s Hostels during 11th Plan in
Minority Concentration Districts/Areas. Out of total allocation of Rs.370.19
crore, Rs.203.69 crore have been released till 27th
February, 2012.
 The UGC has approved the guidelines for establishment of centres in
universities for study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy and sanctioned
these centres in 35 universities. Rs.21.53 crores has been released.
 UGC has established 2328 Equal Opportunity Cells for
Minorities/SC/ST/OBCs in 23 Central Universities, 114 State Universities, 12
Deemed Universities and 2179 Colleges and Rs.46.07 crore has been
allocated/released during the 11th
Five Year Plan
 A new scheme to assist States for establishment of a model degree college in
each of the 374 identified higher educationally backward districts having Gross
Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education lower than the national GER has
been operationalised. An amount of Rs.782 crore has been earmarked as the
Central Government share in the 11th
Five Year Plan for the Scheme. In so far
as Minority Concentration Areas/Districts are concerned, 64 such
areas/districts have been identified under this scheme. Approval has been
granted to 15 model degree colleges in Minority Concentration Areas/Districts
out of which an amount of Rs.2.67 crore has been released to 2 colleges.
 Under the Sub-Mission on Polytechnics, the Government of India provides
financial assistance to the State Governments/UTs for setting up of
polytechnics in the un-served and underserved districts during the 11th Plan. A
sum of upto Rs.12.3 crore per polytechnic is provided to the State/UTs, subject
to the condition that the land and recurring cost shall be provided by the State
Governments/UTs. As per the Scheme criteria, 57 districts out of 90 Minority
Concentration Districts are eligible for consideration under the Scheme. So far
an amount of Rs.254.66 crore has been released as initial grants for setting up
of polytechnics in 48 Districts out of 57 Districts.
 Academies for Professional Development of Urdu Medium Teachers have been
set up at three Central Universities viz. Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh,
JamiaMilliaIslamia, New Delhi and Maulana Azad National Urdu University,
Hyderabad. The Academy at JMI has trained 1675 teachers. MANUU has
trained 3061 teachers and AMU has conducted 16 Refresher
Courses/workshops for Primary/Secondary school teachers and has covered
356 teachers for teaching modern subjects in Urdu medium. An amount of Rs.
4.00 crore for each of these Universities was sanctioned by UGC for
establishment of Academies for Professional Development of Urdu Medium
Teachers during 11th
Plan.  Rs. 61.31 crores have been sanctioned for establishment of ‘Residential
Coaching Academies for Minorities, Women/SCs/STs’’ in Aligarh Muslim
University, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Baba Sahib
BhimraoAmbedkar, JamiaHamdard and JamiaMilliaIslamia so far, an amount
of Rs. 30.66 crore has been released by University Grants Commission.
JamiaHamdard has admitted 224 students(66 in 2010, 80 in 2011 & 78 in
2012), Maulana Azad National Urdu University admitted 148 students (81 in
2010 & 67 in 2011), Baba SahebBhimRaoAmbedkar has admitted 223 students
(95 in 2010, 59 in 2011 & 69 in 2012), Aligarh Muslim University has admitted
96 students and JamiaMilliaIslamia has admitted 210(100 in 2010 and 110 in
2011) students.
 National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) has been
established by an Act of Parliament with the key objective of ensuring that the
true amplitude of the educational rights enshrined in Article 30 (1) of the
Constitution is made available to the members of the notified religious minority
communities, including the Muslims. NCMEI has issued 6305 minority status
certificates as on 30.6.2012.
 National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) is being
strengthened. The Mandate of the Council is being revisited for empowering the
Council to register, examine and award approved qualifications to the students
registered with it up to pre-degree level courses in the Urdu language and
vocational qualifications dovetailing these with National Vocational Education
Qualification Framework whether by statute or otherwise.
 The programmes of the NCPUL are now available at 2009 Study Centres located
in 234 Minority Concentration Districts in 26 States of the country which
include one year Diploma Course in Computer Applications, Business
Accounting & Multilingual DTP (CABA-MDTP), One Year Diploma Course in
Urdu language, one year Certificate Course in Arabic Language and two years
Diploma Course in Functional Arabic. CABA-MDTP scheme has transformed
the Urdu speaking population into employable technical work force and more
than 50% diploma holders are already employed. 50,000 jobs are expected for
Diploma holders under the National Population Register Project.
 In order to preserve and promote traditional calligraphy, a rich heritage of India
and dovetailing it with the modern graphic design to create employment and
entreneurship, the Council is running Calligraphy and Graphic Design Course
at 35 locations in the country.
 Scheme for Urdu Press Promotion has been strengthened to provide for capacity
building of Urdu journalists. New courses on Mass Media, Script Writing and
Dialogue writing are being launched to enhance employment opportunity in
addition to the subsidy provided to Urdu newspapers to avail UNI Urdu News
Salient Findings of Research Conducted by NUEPA – Participation of Muslims in
Higher Education:
1. National Sample Survey 64th
Round conducted in 2007-08 presents the
information on participation in higher education in terms of social and religious
groups. Result shows that the Gross Attendance Ratio (GAR) of Muslims stands at 8.7
percent as opposed to 16.8% GAR of Non-Muslims in higher education. If we compare
the GAR of Muslims with other social groups, we observe that it is higher than the
GAR of Scheduled Tribes at 6.63 percent but lower than the GAR of Scheduled Castes
at 10.65% and much lower than the GAR of Other Backward Classes at 13.67 percent.
2. There is a wide variation in the participation within Non-Muslim community as
we move from ST, SC, OBC and others. It varies from 6.26% in the case of ST to
10.52% in the case of SC, 14.27% in the case of OBC to 29.56% in the case of others.
Thus there is a range of 23 within Non-Muslim community along different social
groups. It is interesting to observe that there is no such wide variation in the
participation within Muslim community as we move from ST, SC, and OBC to others.
GAR of ST is 5.6%, SC is 14.2%, OBC is 8.7% and that of others is 8.6%.
3. Participation by consumption expenditure groups: An interesting question that
emerges from the information is that whereas the top quartile of the Muslims does
show highest participation in relation to all the bottom four quartiles, the
differentiation in participation even within top quartile between communities is very
4. The important characteristics of Muslim participation in higher education is
that at higher levels of higher education, such as, at the post graduation level,
attendance of Muslims falls down considerably. Besides, higher percentage of Muslims
(as compared to non-Muslims, 22.4% as compared to 19.2%) ends up doing Diploma
& Certificate below Graduate Level.
5. The third characteristics of Muslim participation in higher education is that
higher overall participation of Muslim ST and SC and lower degree level participation
of Muslim ST and SC as compared to Non-Muslim ST and SC only means Muslim ST
and SC participation is higher in post secondary diploma and certificate. It means
Muslim ST and SC prefer to join post secondary education for a short period certificate
and diploma course and they have lower participation at degree level. However, overall
higher participation in diploma course compensates for lower participation at degree
level. As a result overall diploma and degree participation for Muslim ST and SC is
higher in comparison to Non-Muslim ST and SC.
6. Level-wise Educational Inequality of Participation: Group Analysis
Educational participation in terms of graduates at different levels of education
is presented in terms of social, religious and economic groups. In the information
given in the table elementary i.e.; first stage of education is taken as the base and
index of graduates at other levels of education is calculated. Graduates, at different
levels of education, give the picture of stock available at a point of time. However, the
comparison tells us which group at what level suffers from the deficit of graduates. As
noted above, the identical stock at different levels is an ideal scenario of equality in
level wise participation in education. Any deviation from the ideal is something of
interest to know.
7. It is important to note that there is sharp fall in the number of graduates at junior secondary level for ST, SC and OBC social groups. In the religious group, the
fall in the number of graduates at junior secondary level for the Muslims may be
noted. However, the fall is not as high as ST, SC and OBC. In the religious group, NonMuslim do not show fall at the junior secondary level. In terms of economic groups,
the fall in the number of graduates at the junior secondary level is largest for I group.
The fall is reduced as the consumption expenditure group increases. It may be
concluded that to increase educational participation at higher levels of education the
number of graduates at Jr. secondary level needs to be increased especially for ST, SC,
OBC and the Muslims and income groups I, II and III as a matter of priority.
8. It is a matter of concern that a further deficit of graduates occurs for SC, ST,
OBC, I and II income group at the senior secondary level and to a lesser extent for
Muslims and income group III. Non-Muslim also suffers from sharp fall in the number
of graduates at senior secondary level from a high number of graduates at junior
secondary level.
9. Participation in higher education in terms of number of graduates very much
depends on the manner in which the fall in the number of graduates in different
groups take place at different levels of education. The number of graduates at different
levels of school education for different social groups
10. It is thus clear from the analysis that unless the participation in terms of
graduates at the first three levels of education is enhanced for SC, ST, OBC, I, II and
III income group, it would be meaningless to talk of higher participation in higher
11. Factors Identifying Low Participation of Muslims in Higher Education
The central objective of the proposed research is to identify the factors for low
participation of Muslims in higher education. Factor analysis was conducted to
identify the factors responsible for low participation of Muslims. A sample of 402
Muslim students who are already studying in higher education institutions was
randomly served the questionnaire. In the questionnaire participating students’
perceptions were captured to understand the factors responsible for low participation
of Muslims in higher education. Factor analysis was conducted with a set of 30
questions on four point scale. Scale was given rank 1 for most agreed, rank 2 for
agreed, rank 3 for somewhat agreed and rank 4 for not agreed. Question is treated as variable in factor analysis. From the responses received through the questionnaire the
factor analysis facilitates in understanding the perceptions of individuals in terms of
factors. The factors pool different interrelated questions (variables) together under one
factor. A set of relevant factors may finally explain the perception of individuals in
understanding a phenomenon.
12. Factors for Low Participation of Muslims in Higher Education
The rotation of factor structure has clarified the things considerably. The first
factor pools five variables. Family expectation to take up a job (variable 26), value for
traditional profession in the family(variable 27), compulsion to start earning soon to
support the family(variable 15), tough to break the barrier of family profession
(variable 1) and last variable with lowest factor loading can be ignored. Factor 1,
therefore, turns out to be “income barrier”. Under Factor-1, family profession is valued
because it provides economic security. Family mode of traditional profession that is
linked to the traditional occupation followed in the family might not be remunerative
enough. This creates compulsion for an individual to search out for a job after school
education. Hence factor-1 explains the inability of an individual to break the family
profession and at the same time creates compulsion to earn early income to
supplement the income from family profession. This, in the perception of an
individual, income is the important deterrent for Muslims in the participation of higher
The second factor also pools five variables together. My religion encourages
individual to have higher education (variable 23), Our religious community values
higher education (variable 28), Madarsa/school education is progressive and helps one
to join higher education (variable 21), My family believes that an individual must have
religious values for a decent life (variable 25), Cultural values of our religious
community motivates me to pursue higher education (variable 2) have all been pooled
under factor 2. This is the most interesting result. It establishes the fact that in the
perception of an individual religion is a facilitating factor for participation in higher
Under Factor- 2 religion is considered in many ways as a strength for the
Muslim community for higher studies. Belief of a family that religious values and
decent life go together is quite significant. Cultural values of Muslims are important in
motivating individual to pursue higher education. At the level of religious community
there is premium attached with higher studies. The progressive role of
Madarsa/school education is accepted in helping to join higher education. We had
thought this to be barrier, but to our surprise it turns out to be strength in various
ways for participation in higher education.
The third factor pools four variables together. Higher education is an
investment good that have high future returns (variable 7), higher education is as
necessary as any other consumption good necessary for the survival (variable 8),
higher education is necessary for a good marriage (variable 11), higher education
provides the prestige that I need to have (variable 9). These variables point to the
returns from higher education. Higher education provides an opportunity that an
individual is expected to exploit. There are economic returns from investment. Higher
education as consumption good is considered necessary for survival. Higher education
has social return as it facilitates good marriage and earns prestige in the society.
Thus, there is the income barrier in terms of following the family profession and
compulsion to earn early. Against this barrier, is the opportunity to get high returns
by investing in higher education. It is thus the interplay of two factors – cost subject to
the income constraint and returns subject to the availability of finance – that to a great
extent determines the participation of Muslims in higher education. Among the five variables under fourth factor, there are two variables with high
factor loadings. They are: (i) higher participation at the school level only will lead to
higher participation at higher education level (variable 13), (ii) I am confident that my
marks will be high to get me into higher education (variable 14).Other variables with
low factor loadings can be ignored. This factor may be termed as school factor. Higher
participation as well as high marks i.e both access with quality education – at school
level will ensure high participation of Muslims in higher education.
The mathematical factor analysis has provided way to simplify the complexity of
the data that reflects the real world.
Continuing traditional profession compelling to join the job market (Income
barrier) emerges as the main factor for low participation in higher education.
Expectation of social and economic return from higher education (opportunity for
return) emerges as the main motivating factor for the participation of Muslims in
higher education. School factor, on the other hand, shows that not only the proportion
of eligible but also the performance at secondary school level is necessary for higher
participation. It is important to note that religion in the perception of students plays a
positive role and, therefore, Madarsas need to be modernized, mainstreamed and
supported at par with any secondary schools in India, particularly so in the regions
which have Muslim Concentrated Population.

‘Minority ministry should strive to utilise all its funds’

By Syed Amin Jaferi

The Union ministry of minority affairs has sought a massive eight-fold increase in the Plan outlay for welfare of minorities during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17). The outlay projected for the 12th Plan is a whopping cRs 8,589 crore, compared to Rs 7,000 crore in the 11th Plan (2007-12).

The ministry formulated the proposals for 12th Plan on the basis of the recommendations of the Working Group on Empowerment of Minorities and forwarded the same to the Planning Commission in December 2011. The Planning Commission is yet to finalise the outlay for the 12th Plan. The annual Plan outlay for 2012-13, the first year of the 12th Plan period, was finalized on ad hoc basis in February 2012 and the ministry has been allocated Rs 3,135 crore in the Union Budget.

The 12th Plan proposals of the ministry envisage huge step-up in allocations for the existing 12 schemes and big outlays for the 10 new schemes that are proposed to be implemented during the plan period. A massive outlay of Rs 28,275 crore is envisaged for the four scholarship schemes, including Rs 12,267 crore for pre-matric scholarships, Rs 13,038 crore for post-matric scholarships, Rs 2,353 crore for merit-cum-means scholarships for professional and technical courses and Rs 617 crore for Maulana Azad National Fellowships. Another Rs 23,380 crore has been projected for the Multi-Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP) for 169 minority concentration districts (MCDs).

Other projected allocations include Rs 750 crore towards grants-in-aid for Maulana Azad Education, Rs 1,075 crore for equity investment in National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC), Rs 184 crore for free coaching and allied schemes, Rs 250 crore for research studies and publicity, Rs 25 crore for state channelizing agencies, Rs 75 crore for scheme for leadership development of minority women and Rs 6 crore for computerization of records of state wakf boards.

For the 10 new schemes, the projected allocations include Rs 3,000 crore for scheme for promotion of education in 100 minority concentration towns/cities, Rs 500 crore for development of minority concentration villages not covered by MSDP, Rs 163 crore for free cycles for girl students of Class IX, Rs 75 crore for assistance to students clearing prelims under Civil services examinations, Rs 100 crore for skill development initiatives, Rs 90 crore for support to district level institutions in MCDs, Rs 25 crore for scheme of interest subsidy on educational loans for overseas studies, Rs 90 crore for strengthening of state wakf boards, Rs 35 crore for GPS for wakf properties, and Rs 20 crore for scheme for containing population decline of Parsi community.

All these proposals and projections for the 12th Plan appear ambitious but necessary, given the enormity of task of ensuring the educational and economic development of the minorities, namely, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists, who account for 18.4 percent (22.26 crore) out of India’s 2011 census population of 121 crore. The per capita plan outlay for minorities, thus, works out to a measly Rs 2,632 during 12th Plan (or Rs 526 per annum).

As stated earlier, the Planning Commission is yet to finalise the allocations for the ministry of minority affairs for the 12th Plan. Since a meager allocation of Rs 3,135 crore has been made in the first year of the plan, the annual allocations have to be raised to an average of Rs 13,863 crore in each of the remaining four years (2013-14 to 2012-17). This definitely seems to be a tall order, given the propensity of the ministry to under-spend the budgetary allocations made in the last five years (11th Plan period) and surrendering of the unspent funds to the government.

The 26th report of the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment on the demands of the ministry of minority affairs for 2012-13 makes scathing observations about the performance of the ministry during the 11th Plan period. Though the Planning Commission had originally approved an outlay of Rs 7,000 crore for the ministry, the budgetary allocations over the five-year period (2007-12) amounted to Rs 8,690 crore. The ministry could spend only Rs 6,826 crore (78%) of the allocations and surrendered a whopping amount of Rs 1,864 crore during the five-year period.

The Standing Committee, while expressing serious concern over the trend of under-utilization of funds, asked the ministry to analyze the implementation of various schemes so as to ensure that the budgetary allocations are effectively utilized and the schemes are implemented in proper way. The Committee hoped that the ministry would strive hard to achieve 100% utilisation of funds allocated for the year 2012-13 which have been increased to Rs 3135 crore for all their schemes and programmes.

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Elementary school enrolment of Muslim kids worse than OBCs, SCs: Study

New Delhi: For the last few months, reservation for minority communities, particularly Muslims, is a subject of fierce political debate in India. The approval of 4.5 percent sub-quota in government jobs and educational institutions for minorities was presumably to improve their economic and educational backwardness. However, as the data on the enrolment of Muslims in elementary schools shows, reservation in jobs and in higher educational institutions cannot be the only solution to bring the community into the mainstream.

The data, released by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), suggests that the enrolment of Muslim children at the elementary level is nowhere near the national average. With a 10.49% enrolment in elementary schools, Muslims fare worse than the OBCs (42.26%) and the SCs (19.72%). In the Hindi-speaking states (Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan) as well as in Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra, the gap in enrolment of Muslims at the elementary level to the proportion of their population is higher.

Further, the comparison of enrolment at elementary level between the SCs, OBCs and Muslims shows that the OBCs and SCs are doing much better than Muslims. The low enrolment percentage shows that even the Sarva Shiksha Abhyan (SSA), the national flagship programme for the universalisation of elementary education, has not been effective in bringing the Muslim children to primary schools despite the minorities being the special focus of the programme.

Elementary school enrolment of Muslim kids worse than OBCs, SCs: Study

There are various factors, according to the study. On top is of course their economic condition. Most of the parents preferred to engage their children in economically-productive activities rather than getting them educated.

Another problem was their ghettoisation. Compared to the overall urban population in India (27.8 %), a higher percentage of Muslims (35.7 %) live in cities, according to the Sachar Committee report. However, most of the urban Muslims live in ghettos where there are generally no or fewer schools.

During a study conducted in the Muslim localities of Delhi by the Cenre of Media Studies Social, it was observed that in areas where schools were available, they were found to be inadequate to the proportion of the population of the localities. It was also observed that due to insufficient open spaces in these localities, there was no scope to open new schools. Alternative arrangements such as mobile schools may address the problem.

On a positive note, the data shows that the percentage of girls in the total Muslim enrolment is much better (49.20%) than even the OBC girls (48.22%) and SC girls (48.09%). The data therefore goes against the general perception that Muslims do not allow their girl child to go for formal education.

The moot question is: will the Right to Education Act ensure more opportunities for Muslim children and ensure a better future for them?

(With inputs from Mumtaz Ahmed of Centre for Media Studies, Delhi)


State, Centre get HC notice on Bhagvad Gita

The High Court on Thursday ordered notices to the State and union governments in connection with the circular issued by the State government on teaching ‘Bhagvad Gita’ in primary and higher secondary schools.
Hearing a petition filed by Karnataka State Minorities Educational Institutions Managements Federation challenging the circular dated June 9, 2011, Justice Abdul Nazeer ordered the issue of notices to the State and the union governments.Submitting that the circular was “contrary to the right guaranteed to the petitioner’s members institutions as per the provisions of the Constitution of India,” the petitioner said neither the Union of India nor the State government had a right to “deviate from the constitutional rights of the minority institutions”.

The campaign should not be forced to be implemented on minority institutions, said G R Mohan, counsel for the petitioner. The petitioner submitted that in the absence of specific provision or section in Karnataka Education Act, the respondent cannot force the educational institutions to teach Bhagvad Gita.

The petitioners also submitted that if the same is allowed in various schools of the State, then other religious institutions may also teach Quran/Bible in the schools where Hindus are also admitted as students.

“It will go against the Constitution of India and also affect the religous sentiments of the minorities and may create communal tension in schools”, the petitioner stated.

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