India: List of Minority Concentration Districts Needs Clarification
Apparently it includes only 69 Muslim Concentration Districts AIMMM Suggests Lower Criterion of 15%, Omission of North East States, Inclusion of Hindu Concentration Districts in Punjab and J&K
AIMMM also calls for Detailed Development Programmes for Districts Selected
New Delhi, 26 June, 2007: ‘The AIMMM has taken note of the list of 90 minority concentration districts issued by the Ministry of Minority Affairs on 22 June, 2007.
The criteria of selection in terms of proportion of minority population or the socio-economic and social amenities indicators have not been mentioned . This needs clarification. But apparently all Muslim concentration districts with more than 20 % Muslim population in the district have been included, except those whose socio-economic and amenities indicators are higher than the national average.
Also minority concentration districts which lie in Minority-majority states have been omitted, But in such states districts with substantial Hindu concentration in J&K and Punjab which fulfill the criteria should be included.
The AIMMM also feels that the same criteria should apply to districts of Christian and Buddhist concentration in Christian-majority states in the North East. However, since the North-east states have Special Development Programmes, the inclusion of mini-districts from the region only dilutes the approach.
The overall picture is that out of 90 districts, only 69 appear to be Muslim concentration districts, states like A.P., Rajasthan, Kerala, Tamilnadu, MP, Gurajat have been wholly or almost wholly left out.
The total Muslim population of those included may not exceed 35% of the national Muslim population. This is too small a proportion to make a visible impact on the status of the Muslim Community in the state or in the country.
The AIMMM, therefore, suggestes that either all districts should be covered or the cut-off should brought down to 15% for all recognized minorities.
The AIMMM awaits the announcement of area/problem specific special development programmes for the selected districts and their implementation and the results achieved by the end of the current financial year.’
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