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Published in the 1-15 Apr 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Literacy Awards

The Milli Gazette Online 

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee called for an inclusive education system so that no section of society is left out of the literacy campaign and should generate productive employment. He was speaking after giving away Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Literacy Awards-2004 for promoting education amongst the educationally backward minorities in New Delhi on 21 March. Chatterjee said particular emphasis of educational programmes should be on backward areas. He said that rural areas should be made focal point of literacy endeavours. Describing Maulana Azad as a great protagonist of Hindu-Muslim unity, Chatterjee said Maulana was instrumental in establishing a secular and socialist India. He said that our education system should strengthen our secular fabric.

Somnath Chatterjee presenting award to the Marwar Muslim Educational Society, Jodhpur

Somnath Chatterjee presenting award to the
 Marwar Muslim Educational Society, Jodhpur

Felicitating the awardees, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar announced an increase in the corpus of Maulana Azad Education Foundation from Rs. 700 million to Rs. 1000 million. This, she said, will generate more income to the Foundation to expand its activities. She said the Foundation has so far provided financial assistance worth Rs. 805.3 million to 622 NGOs. This year the Foundation is assisting 102 NGOs, thus crossing the 100 mark in a year for the first time. The minister said that the number of scholarships for meritorious girl students belonging to minorities has been increased from 1200 to 3000. In view of the special situation prevailing in Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir, an additional 400 and 260 scholarships have been provided to these states respectively. Kumar said that in order to fulfil the commitment made in the NCMP, her ministry has proposed to the government a 15-point programme for the welfare of minorities.

Chatterjee presenting award to Farook College, Calicut

Chatterjee presenting award to Farook College, Calicut

The speaker gave away Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Literacy Award 2004 to Farook College, Calicut (Kerala), Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society, Pune (Maharashtra) and Marwar Muslim Educational Society, Jodhpur (Rajasthan) for promoting education among the educationally backward minorities. Each Award carries an amount of Rs. 100,000 and a citation.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Literacy Award for promoting education amongst the educationally backward minorities is a tribute to the memory of late Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to his life-long dedication to the cause of education and his services as the first central education minister of Independent India. The government of India has instituted the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Literacy Award for promoting education amongst the educationally backward minorities to be given annually to four institutions, one in each region, having done commendable work to promote education amongst the educationally backward minorities. The award is selected by a jury appointed by the government of India for this purpose. The jury consists of seven eminent Indians including the central minister for social justice and empowerment (SJ&E) and President, Maulana Azad Education Foundation, Secretary, Ministry of SJ&E and joint secretary, incharge (Minorities) Ministry of SJ&E who are ex-officio members. The other four members are nominated by the president of the foundation in the following manner (i) Vice Chancellor of an Indian University (ii) Three eminent educationists.

PA Inamdar receiving award presented to the Maharashta Cosmopolitan Education Society, Pune

PA Inamdar receiving award presented to the 
Maharashta Cosmopolitan Education Society, Pune

Each award carries an amount of Rs. 1,00,000/- and a citation. The award may be divided between two institutions which are considered by the jury to be equally deserving for recognition in the given year. To be considered for the award, it would ordinarily be necessary that an institution is recommended in writing by someone with competence such as members of Parliament, former members of the jury, members of MAEF, chairperson University Grants Commission, vice chancellors of Indian universities, secretary, Deptt. of Education, Ministry of HRD, director, National Council for Educational Research and Training, Director, National Institute of Education Planning and Administration and any other person whom the jury may wish to invite to submit the proposal for the award. Ordinarily only proposals coming from competent persons inviting to nominate are considered. However, a proposal shall not be invalid for consideration by the jury merely on the ground of not having emanated from the competent persons. In all such cases the decision of the jury is final. Personal applications for the award are not considered. State and Central Universities too are not considered for the award. The award is given annually starting with the year 2004. If it is considered, however, that none of the proposals have merit, the jury is free to withhold the award for that year. No work shall merit the award unless it is in the opinion of the jury outstanding in promoting the cause of education amongst educationally backward minorities. The award may be made to an institution which has worked selflessly for the improvement of standard of colleges particularly for girls. The award will be made to an institution which has established a school/college in the country to improve the status of educationally backward minorities in particular and other weaker sections in general. The award will be made to an institution which has been arranging training in relevant skills and entrepreneurs of artists and children and has helped them in studying them in self-employment ventures. The award may be made to an institution which has done recognised commendable work to update and enrich knowledge of a particular subject and evolving new teaching skills. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Literacy Award is administered by the Maulana Azad Education Foundation, New Delhi. 

Below is a brief introduction of the institutions which received the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Literacy Awards 2004:

Farook College, Calicut 
Farook College, Calicut was established in 1948 and is affiliated with the University of Calicut. Farook College is the biggest post graduate residential college. It offers instructions in various disciplines at under graduate and post graduate levels. Five of the post graduate departments, Arabic, English, Zoology, Statistics and Chemistry are recognized research centres. There are seven hostels including three girl hostels, one working women hostel which accommodates nearly 1100 students including 700 girls. The college is accredited at 5* (five star) level by NACC. The college and its hostels are open to all students of all castes and creeds and manages for the creation of a healthy cosmopolitan atmosphere on the campus. Farook College is also recipient of a major grant from Ford Foundation, New York. The college is equipped with the state of art, video and visual theatre, language laboratory and computer aided teaching facilities. The college is also running a child line 24 hours emergency out reach services. The child line is a project of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India for the protection of the children. The college is a recognized centre for IGNOU. The college was adjudged by the Kerala government to receive the ‘R’ Shankar Award (instituted by Govt. of Kerala) for the best special grade college in the state of Kerala for two consecutive years 1997-1998 and 1999-2000. The Pathway Project of the foundation for academic excellence and access, New Delhi, has selected the college for its activities for excellence in 2002. The college is recommended by the Calicut University with other two colleges to be a centre for excellence under University Grants Commission project. The college has received a number of prizes at the state level in sports and art festivals held in the state. The college was also adjudged by the Venitha fortnightly to receive the second best award for the year 2003 amongst the colleges in Kerala. 

Maharashta Cosmopolitan Education Society, Pune
The Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society, Pune was established and registered in the year 1948 with the sole objective of providing education to economically, educationally and socially weaker sections of society irrespective of religion, caste and creed. The society is a religious and linguistic minority educational organization. The society has set up 19 educational institutes right from pre-primary to graduate and post-Graduate levels. These institutions are imparting education in Science, Commerce, Arts, Computer Science, Law, Pharmacy, Management Science and Dentistry to about 15000 students mainly belonging to Muslim minority. 

The society has given equal importance to the girl’s education and runs Anglo Urdu Girls High School, Abeda Inamdar Juniro and Senior College, Azam College of Education (B.Ed. College) exclusively for girls. With a humble beginning of schools, the society has transformed the Azam Campus in excellent educational complex. Apart from the institutions, the society has established five girls hostels and boys’ hostels in the Azam Campus with 24 hours security guard services.

The society, in collaboration with Haji Gulam Mohd. Education Trust and Poona College has successfully launched MA Rangoonwala Talent Search and Promotion Scheme at Azam Campus since 1999. Under this scheme the students are trained and coached for their XI and XII Science Board Examination and also for various competitive examinations to secure admission in different medical, dental and engineering courses on the basis of their merit. The society is also providing career guidance and counseling for various competitive examinations through Institute of Career Development.

The society has always strived hard to provide excellent infrastructure facilities in all its institutions for sports, extra curricular and co-curricular activities to helps develop the over all personality of the students. At Azam Campus, spread over 24 acres of land, the society has provided huge VM Gany sports ground and pavilion with facilities for outdoor games like cricket, football, hockey and also lanes of 400 metre athletic tracks. The Principal, teachers and students of Anglo-Urdu High School and Abeda Inamdar Jr. And Senior College have received number of awards from the state government.

Marwar Muslim Educational Society, Jodhpur
The Marwar Muslim Educational Society, Jodhpur was established in the year 1929 to ameliorate the cause of education among weaker sections of the society in general and Muslims in particular. Since then the society has been continuously stepping forward and achieving its targets set for educational advancement and other welfare programmes.

The society is running three schools and imparting education from nursery to XII class. In these schools 1971 students including 660 girls are receiving education. They are selflessly working for the cause of girls’ education, which has increased the percentage of literacy among girls of the minorities.

To provide vocational training and to assist the minorities and weaker sections of the society to choose the purposeful career for their bright future and to become independent, the society is running two ITIs, which are affiliated to National Council of Vocational Training.

Besides educational and Technical Institutions, the society has also established a hospital and research centre and thus providing medical facilities to Muslims and other weaker sections of the society. Eighty-five thousand and six hundred outdoor patients and 9742 indoor patients have benefited from this hospital. The student of the senior secondary school are continuously selected to participate in state level tournaments organized by the Rajasthan Government.

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