Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, flanked by United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, during the release of the UPA-II Report Card
The Report Card of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-II for 2009-2010 begins with a quotation by UPA Chairperson Ms Sonia Gandhi: “We are firmly committed and have a strong resolve to ensure that the benefits of the programmes being run by the government reach the poorest of the poor in a transparent manner.”
From this point of view, it is relevant and interesting to see and assess the achievements with regard to the empowerment of minorities, particularly Muslims, and other weaker sections mentioned in the “Report to the People 2009-10” (Pages 12-15), presented by the ruling UPA on June 1, 2010. Following are the texts of the achievements related with the minorities, including Muslims and other weaker sections.
Texts of Achievements in Report Card
3.3 Empowerment and development of the weaker sections
3.3.1 Improving access to -
a. Increase in Outlays for Scholarships
During 2009-10, central assistance of Rs 1015.96 crore was released under the post-matric scholarship scheme for Scheduled Caste students, covering approximately 40 lakh students.
During 2010-11, an outlay of Rs. 1,700 crore has been allocated under the scheme to enable revision in the income ceiling and rates of scholarship.
Under the post-matric scholarship scheme for Scheduled Tribe students, Rs. 270.86
crore was released to assist 13,76,745 students during 2009-10. During 2009-10, central
assistance of Rs. 172.97 crore was released as post-matric scholarship to approximately 14 lakh students belonging to the Other Backward Classes.
During the same period, under the pre-matric scholarship scheme, central assistance of Rs. 31.73 crore was released to assist approximately 17 lakh students belonging to the Other Backward Classes.
During 2010-11, an outlay of Rs. 50 crore has been allocated under the scheme.
b. Top Class Education Scheme
During 2009-10, scholarships were given to 541 Scheduled Caste students, who secured admission in premier institutions. The number of institutions covered under the scheme has also been raised from 125 to177.
Provision under the scheme has been increased to Rs. 25 crore during 2010-11.
Likewise, scholarships amounting to Rs 1.75 crore were given to 88 Scheduled Tribe
students under the scheme during 2009-10.
c. Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship Scheme
During 2009-10, Rs. 105 crore was released to the University Grants Commission for grant of 1333 new fellowships and renewal of ongoing scholarships for Scheduled Caste students to pursue courses leading to M Phil, Ph.D. and equivalent degrees. Provision under the scheme has been increased to Rs.160 crore in 2010-11 as against Rs.80 crore in 2009-10 to increase the number of scholarships to 2000.
Likewise, fellowships amounting to Rs.30 crore were given to 2777 Scheduled Tribe students under the scheme during.
3.4 An Inclusive Agenda for the Minorities
3.4.1 Targeting Benefits of Development to the Minorities
Prime Minister’s New 15-Point Programme
It has been ensured that 15% of targets and outlays for schemes included in the Prime
Minister’s New 15-Point programme for the Welfare of Minorities and considered amenable to targeting, have been so earmarked.
Three schemes have been added to the programme in 2009-10 viz. (i) National Rural.Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP); (ii) Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG); and (iii) Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT).
64 projects, at an estimated cost of over Rs. 8,600 crore, have been sanctioned under the Urban Infrastructure & Governance (UIG) component of Jawarharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for implementation in 17 towns with a sizable minority population. 101 projects, at an estimated cost of more than Rs. 2500 crore, have been sanctioned in 83 such towns under the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) component.
In 2009-10, under the scheme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), 4457 primary and upper primary schools have been constructed, 3530 primary and upper primary schools have been opened, 20,588 additional class rooms have been constructed, 27 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) have been sanctioned and 7765 teachers sanctioned in blocks and districts having a substantial minority population.
502 public sector bank branches were opened in 2009-10 (upto December 2009) in districts with a substantial minority population.
Over Rs. 96,000 crore of bank credit was provided to the minorities in 2009-10 (upto September 2009).
60 ITIs, located in Minority Concentration Districts, are to be upgraded as part of the Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme.
3.4.2 Improving Access to-
During 2009-10, 17.29 lakh scholarships were given to children belonging to the minority communities for their pre-matric education. An amount of Rs. 202.94 crore was spent. 48% of the pre-matric scholarships were awarded to girls.
Under the post-matric scholarship scheme, 3.88 lakh scholarships were awarded at a cost of Rs. 148.74 crore. Nearly 55% of those awarded scholarships were girls. 35,982 merit-cum-means scholarships were awarded at a cost of Rs. 97.51 crore, with nearly one third being girl students.
Under the Meritorious Scholarship Scheme of the Maulana Azad Education Foundation, for girl students in classes XI and XII, 15,070 girls were awarded scholarships at a cost of Rs. 18.08 crore.
Under the Maulana Azad National Fellowship, 756 fellowships are shortly to be awarded. 30% will be to women students.
The National Minority Finance Development Corporation (NMDFC) has disbursed Rs. 197.75 crore for assisting 1,04,594 minority beneficiaries during 2009-10 out of which an amount of Rs. 54.53 crore has been disbursed under the micro-finance scheme to 68,451 beneficiaries.
3.4.3. Waqf Development
A bill to amend the Waqf Act, 1995 was introduced in Parliament. It provides for timelycompletion of surveys of waqf properties, reduction of the scope of alienation of waqf properties, providing penal provisions to prevent encroachment of waqf properties, representation of women in the waqf boards, greater accountability and efficiency in the administration of the waqf properties by the waqf boards, etc. The bill was passed by Lok Sabha on 7th May, 2010.
In February 2010, under a new centrally sponsored scheme, grants-in-aid of Rs. 8.06 crore has been disbursed to 11 State Waqf Boards, the Central Waqf Council and the National Informatics Centre Services Inc. (NICSI) for the computerization of waqf properties.
3.4.4 Multi-Sectoral District Plans for Minority Concentration Districts.
Out of 90 identified MCDs, the district plans of 80 MCDs (15 fully and 65 partly) have been approved at a total estimated cost of Rs. 2343.75 crore.
Full Text of UPA-II Report Card