Collect data on minorities under BPL: Parliamentary panel to Minority Affairs ministry

A Parliamentary Panel has asked the Ministry of Minority Affairs to immediately initiate a process to collect data on people of minority communities living below the poverty line.

PTI| Updated: Mar 14, 2015, 00:27 AM IST

New Delhi: A Parliamentary Panel has asked the Ministry of Minority Affairs to immediately initiate a process to collect data on people of minority communities living below the poverty line.

In its tenth report on action taken by the ministry on the 46th report of the panel, the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment has also asked the Minority Affairs ministry to devise a special scheme to make classrooms and school environment conducive and student-friendly for creating enthusiasm among students.

In the report tabled in Parliament today, the panel reiterated an earlier recommendation asking the ministry that "as regards having a list of BPL persons or families belonging to Minority community" the process of collecting above data be initiated immediately.

Earlier, the ministry had apprised the panel that Planning Commission has informed that 'Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011' is still underway.

"The last BPL census was conducted in 2002. The religion-wise data was not collected in the census. Hence, information on BPL persons/families belonging to minority community is not available at present," the ministry had said in its reply.

In its earlier recommendations, the panel had suggested that the List of BPL persons or family belonging to minorities communities should be prepared and displayed in the website within one year.

The panel also asked Ministry of Minority Affairs that a special scheme be devised to make classrooms and school environment conducive and student friendly for creating an urge and enthusiasm among the children to come to the schools and to attend the classes, take part in extracurricular activities like sports, debate, quiz and community service, etc.

In its report, the Committee also observed that it had recommended that data regarding dropout and passing out rates from schools in respect of Muslim students might be collected and furnished to them.

"The Committee find that the Ministry in their Action Taken Reply have merely stated that the comments were awaited from the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The Committee deprecate such casual reply of the Ministry.

"The Committee while reiterating their earlier recommendation, urge upon the Ministry to vigorously pursue the matter with the Ministry of Human Resource Development for furnishing the desired information," the panel said.

The Committee also noted that Department of Financial Services is collecting information on lending to minority communities and would furnish it to Ministry of Minority Affairs on quarterly basis.

It, however, observed that the Ministry has neither collected any data on loan to minority communities for setting up large and medium scale industries, nor spelt out in its replies the agenda for generating employment for the persons undergone training at various vocational training institutes.

"The Committee, therefore, urge the Ministry to set in motion the process of collection of data as recommended and apprise the progress to them as soon as possible," the panel said in its report.

The Committee also noted that under the Scheme for Providing Quality Education for Madarsa (SPQM), the Department of School Education and Literacy maintains the year wise data of the number of Madrasas, teachers benefitted and the amount of funds released to the State Governments.

"According to the Ministry, however, the data regarding number of students and other relevant figures is maintained by the state governments.

"The Committee feels that being the nodal agency, the Ministry should also have such data. Since creation of a Centralised Data Bank is absolutely necessary for a fair appraisal of Madrasas system of education, the Committee, therefore, desire the Ministry to pursue the matter vigorously and collect the data at the earliest," the panel said.

The Committee also asked the Ministry to make concerted efforts with the Ministry of Finance to get requisite allocation for pre-matric scholarship to meet the demand of all eligible students fully as the demand for these was high.

The Committee also recommended that more coachings should be opened in associations with reputed colleges in backward and far-flung cities and town.