Educational Development of Minorities


1. "Education is the single most important instrument for social and economic transformation. A well educated population, adequately equipped with knowledge and skill is not only essential to support economic growth, but is also a precondition for growth to be inclusive since it is the educated and skilled person who can stand to benefit most from the employment opportunities which growth will provide." (Para 10.1 of the Approach to the XIIth Five Year Plan). The Ministry of Human Resource Development has focused on an inclusive agenda, with a vision of realizing India's human resource potential to its fullest, with equity and excellence.

2. "All minorities…shall have the right to establish and administer education institutions of their own"_____ is the mandate, as per Article 30(1) of the Constitution. Government is committed to address the existing backwardness in education of minorities, especially the Muslims, constituting the major chunk of the minorities. Therefore, the Prime Minister's New 15 Point Programme, inter-alia, aims to enhance opportunities for education of minorities ensuring an equitable share in economic activities and employment. (Link to Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA)

3. As per the Census Report 2001, the percentages of minority population, viz. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) and their literacy rates are, as under:

Communities Percentage of population Percentage of literacy
Muslims 12.4 59.1
Christians 2.3 80.3
Sikhs 1.9 69.4
Buddhists 0.8 72.7
Zoroastrians (Parsis) 0.007 97.9

4. According to 'Sachar Committee Report' "one-fourth of Muslim children in the age group of 6-14 years have either never attended school or are drop-outs. For children above the age of 17 years, the educational attainment of Muslims at matriculation is 17%, as against national average at 26%. Only 50% of Muslims who complete middle school are likely to complete secondary education, compared to 62% at national level". The Report has also drawn attention to the low levels of educational attainment among Muslim women, Muslims in rural areas as well as in technical and higher education. The High Level Committee under the Chairmanship of Justice Rajinder Sachar has also made a number of recommendations for improvement of the educational status of the Muslim communities.(Link to Sachar Committee Report).Further, the High Level Committee under the Chairmanship of Shri Mohd. A.A. Fatmi, the then Minister of State in the Ministry of HRD has also formulated a plan of action on the findings of the report of the Justice Sachar Committee.
Link to Findings of the Report - (80 KB)

5. Ministry of Human Resource Development has also constituted a National Monitoring Committee on Minorities' Education (NMCME) under the Chairmanship of Hon'ble Minister of Human Resource Development. A Standing Committee under the chairmanship of Shri Siraj Hussain, IAS, Additional Secretary, Government of India and former Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard has also been constituted to address issues relating to educational empowerment of minorities. The objective of the Standing Committee and its Sub-Committees are, as under:-

  • To monitor the minority related schemes/programs being implemented by the Ministry of Human Resource Development;
  • To suggest modifications, if required, in the schemes of the Ministry of Human Resource Development with a view to cater to the specific needs and requirements of the minority community;
  • To study report of previous Committees which have gone into the issues of minority education and welfare and suggest ways and means to implement the recommendations/conclusions of those Committees;
  • To advise the Committee on setting up a monitoring mechanism for minority related schemes/programs being run by the Ministry of HRD and
  • Any other issues relating to minority education which the Committee may want to bring to the notice of the Government and NMCME.

6. Ministry of HRD has taken several significant initiatives, as detailed below, during XIth Five Year Plan and the momentum of which are being continued/accelerated during the XIIth Five Year Plan:-

  • Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM)
  • Scheme for Infrastructure Development of Private Aided/Unaided Minority Institutions (IDMI)
  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
  • Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs)
  • Extension of Mid-Day-Meals (MDM) Scheme to Madarsas/Maqtabs
  • 'Saakshar Bharat'
  • Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)
  • Strengthening of the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL)
  • Establishment of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI)
  • List of Minority Concentration Districts
  • Sub-Mission on Polytechniques under the coordinated Action for skill development
  • Girls Hostel Scheme
  • Setting up model schools

7. In addition, Scholarship/Fellowship Schemes and Multi-Sectoral Development Programmes (MSDP) are being implemented by Ministry of Minority Affairs.

What Constitution Says

Article 46 of the Constitution states that, "The State shall promote, with special care, the education and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of social exploitation." Articles 330, 332, 335, 338 to 342 and the entire Fifth and Sixth Schedules of the Constitution deal with special provisions for implementation of the objectives set forth in Article 46. Similarly, Articles 30 (1) provides for the rights of the Minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. These provisions need to be fully utilized for the benefit of these weaker sections in our society.

National Monitoring Committee for Minorities' Education (NMCME)

The National Monitoring Committee for Minorities' Education (NMCME) has been reconstituted vie Ministry's Resolution No. 6-4/2010-MC (Pt.) dated 23.12.2011. The first meeting of the reconstituted Committee was held on March 5, 2012 at New Delhi. At this meeting, a decision was taken to constitute a Standing Committee of NMCME and five sub-Committees of NMCME as under:

  • Implementation of Schemes Aimed at Minorities
  • Mapping of Educational Requirements of Minorities - Region & District-wise
  • Vocational Education & Skill Development of Minorities
  • Girls' Education
  • Promotion of Urdu Language and enhance compatibility amongst minorities through knowledge of English.

The Government is also running the following Schemes for the improvement of Educational and Economic lot of the Minorities:

  • Central Sponsored Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasa (SPQEM)
  • Scheme for Infrastructure Development Private Aided/Unaided Minority Institutes (IDMI) - (Elementary Secondary/Senior Secondary Schools)

The following material will help you understand better the work done for granting equal opportunities to the Minorities in the country:-

  • Prime Minister's 15-Point Programme for Minorities' Welfare (Including Status Report)
  • Major Initiatives for Educational Advancement of Minorities
  • Government Decisions on Sachar Committee Recommendations (Including Monitoring of Action Taken)
  • Findings of Research Conducted by NUEPA - Participation of Muslims in Higher Education