`Equal Opp Commission Bill to be introduced in budget session`

Union Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan said he planned to introduce the Equal Opportunities Commission Bill in the budget session.

Updated: Feb 04, 2013, 23:22 PM IST

Mumbai: Asserting that strengthening of monitoring system for effective implementation of Sachar panel recommendations was on government agenda, Union Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan today said he planned to introduce the Equal Opportunities Commission Bill in the budget session.
The minister, who held a review meeting of the Sachar recommendations, PM`s 15 point programme and various minority welfare programmes of the state government with Chief MInister Prithviraj Chavan, told reporters the Commission would have judicial, summoning powers and its directions would be mandatory.
He said the functioning will not overlap with that of the existing bodies like the Human Rights Commission.

"The cabinet has approved the bill for setting up the proposed commission and I may introduce it in the comming session," the minister said.

He said the commission will facilitate the setting up of diversity index and national data base bank.

Speaking of the Communal Violence Bill, the minister said the Bill which has been introduced, has been diluted by the standing committee.

"It is not the one which we wanted.
The government`s version was the one approved by the National Advisory council (NAC). We are negotiating with the political parties," he added.

Khan said recommendations of the Sachar Committee are being implemented, but admitted that there may be monitoring problems. "We have implemented most of the recommendations, which can be done through executive orders. What is pending are the legislative measures. The country cannot afford to have communal disturbances," he added.

When asked about the Dhule riots and allegations that minorities were targeted by the police, the minister said the judicial probe announced by the Chief Minister will reveal all the details.

"I have been in constant touch with the Chief Minister on this issue," he added.
Admitting that the dropout rate in the secondary school level in the minorities is on the rise, Khan said government is focusing on infrastructure building for the secondary education.

"Dropout rate is a major issue, not just among minorities. Setting up of ITIs and polytechniques is a major alternative that are being set up and Maharashtra is doing well on that front," he added.

Khan said the Centre has decided to shift the multi sector development plan for minorities from district to block level for ensuring more concentration on minority population.

"In Maharashtra, Buldhana, Washim, Latur, Yavatmal, Beed, Jalgaon, Jalna, Hingoli, Parbhani will be covered," he added.

Khan said three programmes of the Maharashtra government for minorities, like the Indira Awas Yogana, anganwadis and construction of girls hostel is satisfactory.

He said Maharashtra had achieved a target of 7.28 lakh pre-matric scholarships, as against the set target of 3.67 lakh.

Nationwide, 1.41 crore students have benefited due to pre-matric and post-matric scholarships, he added.