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Posted Online on Tuesday, 30 January 2007 23:55 IST

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Muslim Islamic NewsMinistry of Minority Affairs achieves several milestones in one year

30 January 2007

New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs has achieved several milestones in a short span of one year that it completed Monday, reports said. 
With AR Antulay as its first Minister, the Ministry was created a year back with wide charter relating to overall policy, planning, coordination, evaluation and review of the regulatory and developmental programmes of the minority communities in India.
The major achievements and developments of the Ministry under various heads are as follows: 

PM's New 15-Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities was announced in June 2006

The objectives of the New 15-Point Programme are:
(a) Enhancing opportunities for education
(b) Ensuring an equitable share for minorities in economic activities and employment, through existing and new schemes, enhanced credit support for self-employment, and
recruitment to State and Central Government jobs
(c) Improving the conditions of living of minorities by ensuring an appropriate share
for them in infrastructure development schemes
(d) Prevention and control of communal disharmony and violence.

An important aim of the New 15-Point Programme is to ensure that the benefits of various government schemes for the underprivileged reach the disadvantaged sections of the minority communities. To fulfil this long overdue demand, the new programme envisages location of a certain proportion of development projects in minority concentration areas.

The New 15-Point Programme also provides that, wherever possible, 15% of targets and outlays under various schemes should be earmarked for minorities.

As envisaged in the New 15-Point Programme, earmarking of 15% of the physical targets and financial outlays has already been done in respect of a number of schemes, which were amenable to earmarking. The targets have been conveyed to all States/UTs by the Ministries/Departments concerned.

Identification of Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs)
The Ministry of Minority Affairs has identified minority concentration districts (MCDs) based on the population data of 2001 census and backwardness parameters. Formal approval is awaited.

Maulana Azad Education Foundation
The Foundation is implementing its schemes out of the interest earned on its Corpus Fund, which is its only source of income. The Corpus Fund has been provided for the Foundation as part of plan assistance. The Corpus fund has been augmented by Rs.100 crores during the year 2006-07. Presently, MAEF has a Corpus Fund of Rs. 200 crores.

Since its inception and up to December 31, 2006, the Foundation has sanctioned Rs.91.81 crores to 702 NGOs throughout the country for construction/expansion of schools/colleges/girls hostels/polytechnics/ITI and purchase of equipment/machinery/furniture and has distributed scholarships to 6986 girl students amounting to Rs. 6.98 crores.

A number of steps have been taken to equip the Foundation for the enhanced level of activity after the augmentation of its Corpus Fund. An SAG level Central Government Officer is being appointed as Secretary of the Foundation. An evaluation study is being undertaken, through an independent agency, so as to assess the impact of schemes and programmes on the target group. Efforts are also being made to streamline its functioning and make it more transparent and accountable.

National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC)
An Expert Committee consisting of professional bankers and financial experts has been constituted to review the functioning of the National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) and suggest an action plan for improving the operational performance of the Corporation. The Report of the committee is expected by the end
of January, 2007.

The share capital of the NMDFC as on December 30, 2006 was as under:

Government of India
Authorized Share Capital Paid Up Capital Paid up Capital
422.50 357.07 84.51%

State/UT Governments
169.00 94.05 35.05%

58.50 NIL NIL

650.00 451.12 69.40%

An additional Government of India contribution of Rs. 10 crores was released on December 31, 2006.

Up to December 31, 2006, NMDFC has sanctioned Rs. 861 crores to 3,04,369 beneficiaries. During this financial year, NMDFC has sanctioned Rs. 58.67 crore to the 16,754 beneficiaries.

Policy Planning
The Working Group on the 'Empowerment of Minorities',
commenced its work in August, 2006 and submitted its report to the Planning Commission in October 2006. The Ministry has submitted its Annual Plan 2007-08 and XIth Five Year Plan (2007-2012) proposals to the Planning Commission.

High Level Committee
The Prime Minister's High Level Committee was set up under the chairmanship of Justice (Retd) Rajinder Sachar to prepare a comprehensive report on the socio-economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India. The High Level Committee submitted its report to the Prime Minister on November 17, 2006. The report was tabled in both Houses of Parliament on November 30, 2006.

National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM)
For making a detailed examination to determine the criteria for identification of socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities and to suggest measures for their welfare, including reservation in education and Government employment, the Government has constituted a National Commission for Religious and
Linguistic Minorities (NCRLM) under the chairmanship of Justice (Retd) Ranganath Misra. The Report of the Commission is expected by March 31, 2007.

National Commission of Minorities (NCM)
The fifth Annual Conference of State Minorities Commissions was organised by the National Commission for Minorities on November 2, 2006. The conference was addressed among others by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Five Annual Reports of the National Commission for Minorities namely the 4th, 5th, 7th, 10th & 11th Reports for the years 1996-97, 1997-98, 1999-2000, 2002-03 & 2003-04 were tabled in
both of Houses of the Parliament along with Action Taken Reports.

Merit-cum-Means Based Scholarship Scheme for the Students belonging to
Minority Communities:

In pursuance of the announcement made by the Finance Minister in his budget speech 2006-2007, to provide 20,000 merit-cum-means based scholarships for students belonging to minority communities every year, a scheme has been formulated by the Ministry of Minority Affairs to enable the students to pursue higher studies. As per the proposed provisions of the scheme financial assistance will be provided for the students to pursue professional and technical courses at undergraduate and post-graduate levels in institutions recognized by appropriate authorities. The scheme has been recommended by the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC). Approval of the competent authority is being obtained.

(i) Central Wakf Council
Under its non-plan scheme the Government of India has released Rs. 73 lakhs to the Central Wakf Council for development of Urban Wakf properties upto December, 2006 in this financial year 2006-07.

The Central Wakf Council is a statutory body established by the Government of India for the purpose of advising it on matters pertaining to the working of the State Wakf Boards and proper administration of wakfs in the country.

(ii) Dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty
The Dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A.) at Ajmer in Rajasthan is a Wakf of international fame, which is governed by the Central Act known as the Dargah Khwaja Saheb Act, 1955. At present the administration and control of Dargah Endowment vests in a Dargah Committee which is appointed by the Central Government.

The Dargah Committee sanctioned a budget of Rs. 2,12,55,000/- towards expenditure on welfare activities, upkeep and maintenance of Dargah Sharif during the year 2006-07.

The 794th Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisthy (R.A.) was celebrated in Ajmer this year.

(iii) Wakf Act 1995
A comprehensive review of the Wakf Act 1995 is also under consideration of the Government in order to make it more effective.


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