Current Affairs 2023
The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has asked the States to provide data on the dropout rate after the discontinuation of schemes for minorities such as the Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) and the pre- and post-matric fellowships. This blog discusses the impact of such discontinuation on the minority community, and the steps taken by the NCM to address the issue.
Mar 30, 2023
5 min read
The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has raised concerns about the dropout rate of students from the minority community after the discontinuation of various schemes meant for their benefit. The NCM has asked the States to provide data on the dropout status after the discontinuation of schemes such as the Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) and the pre- and post-matric fellowships.
NCM chairman Iqbal Singh Lalpura has said that those who were creating an issue out of this were not from the minority communities. The NCM has written a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah about sensitising the administration about the attacks on minorities by vigilante groups in various States. The NCM chairman also announced that the commission will publish a book on religious practices of all six registered minority communities in India. The book will also have chapters on Hinduism. The commission will make a pitch to the Home Ministry to make the book part of the school syllabus.
The NCM members also maintained that several States in India did not have minority commissions due to which the purpose of welfare schemes was failing. They also regretted how Punjab, which has around 57% Sikh population, failed to pass the ‘Anand Marriage Act’. The NCM chairman also said that the authorities were in the process of launching an application where people can share their complaints. The panellists said that greater sensitivity among the police force for tackling cases involving minorities, promotion of inclusiveness of diversity, building a uniform system across the country for issuing minority certificates, wide publicity of government schemes for raising awareness and encouraging dialogue between all the minority communities would help in promoting communal harmony.
The discontinuation of schemes meant for the benefit of the minority communities has had a significant impact on the dropout rate of students. The NCM has taken several steps to address this issue and to ensure that the minority communities are not discriminated against. It is essential for the government to take more steps to ensure that the minority communities are not deprived of their rights and that their voices are heard.
Reference source: TH
About the National Commission for Minorities (NCM)
The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) is a statutory body established by the Government of India in 1993 under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 to safeguard the rights and interests of minorities in the country. The commission is responsible for evaluating the progress of minorities, identifying areas where they face discrimination, and recommending measures to address their concerns.
The NCM has been empowered to investigate complaints of discrimination and deprivation of rights of the minority communities, which includes Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Parsis. The commission has the authority to summon witnesses, call for documents, and conduct necessary investigations. It also advises the government on the development of policies and programs for the welfare of minority communities.
The main objectives of the NCM are to protect and safeguard the rights and interests of minorities, to promote communal harmony and peace, to ensure that minorities have equal opportunities in education, employment, and other areas, and to promote their socio-economic and cultural development.
The NCM has played a significant role in promoting the welfare of minority communities in India. The commission has taken several initiatives to address the concerns of minorities, including the development of a scheme to provide financial assistance for the construction of community halls, the provision of scholarships and stipends for minority students, and the establishment of a legal aid cell to provide free legal aid to minorities.
The commission has also organized several awareness campaigns and workshops to promote communal harmony and to spread awareness about the rights and entitlements of minority communities. It has worked closely with the government and civil society organizations to promote the welfare of minorities and to address their concerns.
About the Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF)
Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) is a scholarship scheme instituted by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, to provide financial assistance to students from minority communities (Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Zoroastrians) who are pursuing higher education in Indian universities and colleges.
The fellowship aims to promote higher education among minority communities and ensure that they have equal opportunities in education. The scheme provides financial support to students who are pursuing research in various disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, sciences, engineering, and technology.
The fellowship is awarded based on the merit of the candidates in the entrance test conducted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the fulfillment of eligibility criteria. The fellowship is renewable every year based on the satisfactory progress of the research work.
The Maulana Azad National Fellowship has been instrumental in promoting higher education among the minority communities in India. It has helped several students from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue their higher education and research without worrying about financial constraints. The fellowship has also helped in creating a pool of researchers from minority communities who are contributing to the development of the nation in various fields.
Image: Iqbal Singh Lalpura/Twitter
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