Rashi Aditi Ghosh/ Zee Research Group
The performance of UPA government’s highly publicized flagship initiative for welfare of minorities - Prime Minister’s 15-point program - has been pretty dismal. The program includes schemes like Indira Awas Yojna (IAY), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, Sarva Sikha Abhiyan (SSA) and Swarna Jyanti Shahari Rozgar Yojna.
This means that from recruitment drive to housing facilities to upgradation of skills to promoting entrepreneurship among minorities, everything has been tardy with government missing key targets.
The data on the recruitment of minorities in central ministries and central public sector undertakings as supplied by the Department of Personnel and Training illustrates that while the total number of people belonging to minority communities recruited in 2006-07 stood at 12,182, it decreased to 10,571 in 2009-10.
The Ministry of Rural Development’s report on physical achievements of Indira Awas Yojna said that the scheme had never achieved cent per cent target in the states since 2006. It said 32 out of 35 states in 2006-07 failed to achieve the promised targets. Thereafter, the decline continued with many states recording zero achievement for the scheme: 12 in 2007-08, seven in 2008-09, ten in 2009-10 and nine states in 2010-11 recorded zero growth under this scheme.
Similarly, with regard to meeting the financial achievement under IAY, the report revealed that the performance was no better. While 32 states could not meet the stipulated targets in 2006-07, it came down to 12 states in 2007-08. There were eight states that did not meet targets during 2008-09 and 2009-10 but the number again grew to nine states during 2010-11. The scheme covers 35 states.
Wajahat Habibullah, chairperson, National Commission for Minorities (NCM), said, “The government report cards generally show a very rosy picture but our own assessment on the ground tells a different story. The whole issue is open to debate; especially for performance in 90 districts which have been classified as districts with maximum minority population under Prime Minister’s 15-point programme.”
Father Dominic Emmanuel, spokesperson for Delhi Catholic Church said, “There is too much focus on one minority. Participation of Christian minorities in welfare schemes is very low. There is need for the formation of high level committees like Sachar Committee to report on the socio-economic status of Christians in India as well.”
Surinder Singh Jodhka, professor at Centre for Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), said, “It seems government is totally focused on Muslim minority but even there the results are not as per expectations.” He explained that while government had earmarked jobs for Muslims in government there were either no or a few jobs available in the government.
Performance of another important scheme under PM’s 15-point program - Swarna Jyanti Shahari Rozgar Yojna - under the administrative control of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, too was way below targets. Majority of the states were unable to meet their employment targets. While 31 states underperformed in 2006-07, the number fell to nine states during 2007-08 but grew again to 21 states during 2008-09. There was a minor improvement in 2009-10 with only 20 states underperforming before it jumped again to 25 states during 2010-11 with respect to the financial targets.
Physical targets under skill training head of SJRY scheme also failed to complete their targets. From 11 states observing a deficit in 2006-07, the number jumped to 17 during 2010- 11.
The coverage target of new primary schools constructed under Sarva Sikha Abhiyan (SSA) in districts with substantial minority population has increased from 92 per cent in 2006-07 to 96.4 per cent in 2010-11. But in case of new upper primary schools constructed under the scheme there was a decrease from 93.6 per cent in 2006-07 to 79.57 per cent in 2010-11.