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Providing proper and modern education to Muslim community children important, says NCMEI Chairman Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui

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By Dr. Shabistan Gaffar

The Eight Foundation Day function of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI), Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, New Delhi and the release of the “Report and Recommendation on Minority Girls’ Education” prepared by the Committee on Girls’ Education constituted by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions was held at the Mavalankar Auditorium, Rafi Marg, New Delhi on the 28th of December 2012. The function witnessed a mammoth crowd of more than 1,000 people from different parts of India, particularly the stakeholders of minority educational institutions in various parts of India, bureaucrats, social activists, educationalists, journalists, teachers, lawyers etc.


Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju, Hon’ble Minister for Human Resource Development, Govt. of India graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and delivered a splendid inaugural address; Dr. K. Rahman Khan, Minister for Minority Affairs, Govt. of India made his presence as the Special Guest and Jitin Prasada, Hon’ble Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Govt. of India presided over the entire function. Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui, Chairman, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Dr. Mohinder Singh and Zafar Agha, Member of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Dr. Shabistan Gaffar, Chairperson, Committee on Girls’ Education, NCMEI and Dr. Fazal Gafoor, General Secretary, Muslim Educational Society (MES), Kerala addressed the gathering and put forth their valuable suggestions and recommendations.

Eminent personalities from different parts of India, like Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities; Safdar Khan, Chairman, Delhi State Minorities Commission; Dr. Sanyam Bhardwaj, Director, NIOS, Govt. of India; Mr. B.S. Ramoowalia, Former Member, NCMEI; Chairman and Members of the State Minority Commissions of different States; Mehbubul Hoque, Chancellor, University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya; Mr. Nayeemur Rehman, Director, MGR University, Tamilnadu; P.A. Hamza, Kerala State Co-ordinator, NCMEI; Members of the Committee on Girls’ NCMEI Mrs. Abeda P. Inamdar, Dr. S. Sumayaa, Prof. Dr. Qamar Rehman, Dr. Najma Akhtar, Mrs. Jowahira Tabassum, Mrs. Lovina Khan, Mrs. Aitya Mushtaque, Mrs. Farah Khan, Co-ordinator, NCMEI; and other dignitaries from all over India also participated in the function. The function was started with the lighting of lamp by the guests.


Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui addressing the gathering
Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui, Chairman, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Govt. of India, New Delhi, welcomed all the guests. In his welcome address he highlighted the powers and functions of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions and asked the members of the minority communities to avail of the facilities. He also explained the need for providing proper and modern education to the children of the Muslim community, particularly Muslim girls. He also presented the statistical datas about the institutions to which the Commission granted Minority status certificate and also pointed out the major problems being facing by the minorities communities in India like, non-granting of NOC by the State Govt., Non-approval of the appointment of teaching and non-teaching staffs etc. and also the safeguards available under the Indian Constitution. He also urged that the minority community should also make concerted efforts to develop our country as a major educational hub.

Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju, Minister for Human Resource Development, Govt. of India, inaugurated the function. In his inaugural address he pointed out that Education is power. Education being the most effective instrument for social and economic empowerment and vital for horizontal and vertical mobility in the society, it is imperative to promote education among allother backward sections, especially the minorities, who have fallen far behind the national average in education. He said that the Sachar Committee as well as other studies have found that the reason for the relative social and economic backwardness of the minorities, especially of the Muslims, is due to their educational backwardness and therefore, in order to pull such minorities, constituting approximately 18.42% of the country’s population from the brink of marginalization and to infuse a sense of inclusiveness in the national mainstream, it is essential to enhance education of the minorities. He also highlighted the Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programmes for the welfare of Minorities.

He also appreciated the NCMEI headed by Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui that during the short period since its establishment since November, 2004, the Commission has issued 7021 Minority Status Certificates to the educational institutions and has also disposed off 13147 out of 14908 petitions/applications and it is also a very cost effective way of providing minority status to institutions as also to grant of affiliation of minorities educational institutions which is indeed praiseworthy.

He also highlighted the role and importance of minority educational institutions and Madrasas in nation building. He assured that the Governmentwill do its best to promote education and overall welfare of the Minorities in general and of the Muslims, constituting major chunk of the Minorities, in particular and at the same time stressed that, the constitutional mandate of Article 30(1) can only be achieved with the participation and co-operation of the general public.

During the end of his speech he thanked the Chairman and Members of the NCMEI and wished all the success in their endeavour of educational empowerment of minorities.


K. Rahman Khan addressing the gathering
Dr. K. Rahman Khan, Minister for Minority Affairs, Govt. of India, who was the Special Guest of the function delivered an enthusiastic and informative speech on the educational status of minorities in India. He highlighted that the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions is an effective body to protect and preserve the educational rights and privileges guaranteed to the minorities under the Constitution of India. He urged the audience to make use and avail the powers of the NCMEI like, Minority Status Certificate, granting of NOC to get affiliation/recognition, permission to get affiliation from any affiliating university, approval of the appointment of teaching and non-teaching staffs etc.

He said that the minorities are equally important to their counterpart and the educational empowerment of minorities can be the only remedial measure in this regard.

During the Programme an Award of Excellence for the Year 2012 from the National Commission for Minority Educational Institution has been presented to P.A. Hamza, Kerala State Co-Ordinator, NCMEI, for his outstanding services and contribution in the field of minorities’ education.

Jitin Prasada, Hon’ble Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Govt. of India presided over the function. In his presidential address he highlighted the importance of vocational and technical education in the minority educational institutions and the need of empowering minority women through education. He also appreciated the NCMEI for rendering outstanding services for the minorities in the last few years. He stressed that the NCMEI is playing a very positive role in the process of stabilizing of our secular fabric.

On the eve of the programme the “Report and Recommendation on Minority Girls’ Education” prepared by the Committee on Girls’ Education constituted by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions was released and the same was submitted to Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju, Minister for Human Resource Development, Govt. of India, and Jitin Prasada, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Govt. of India, for their favourable consideration and appropriate action.


Dr. Shabistan Gaffar speaking
Dr. Shabistan Gaffar, Chairperson, Committee on Girls’ Education, NCMEI, introduced the “Report and Recommendation on Minority Girls’ Education” and made brief Power Point presentation on Committee on Girls’Education. In her presentation she highlighted major points like; Background of the Committee on Girls’ Education, Aims and Objectives of the Committee, the work pattern of the Committee, Findings of the Committee; Regional Conferences, Suggestions and Recommendations etc. At the conclusion of the presentation she stressed that Equality, Education, Enabling environment and Empowerment are the major mantras for bringing the minority girls in mainstream, so that girls are provided with equal opportunity for survival and development, protected against neglect and abuse, and offered the enabling means to develop to their full potential and lead a productive and healthy life.

She thanked all her colleague members of the Committee on Girls’ Education, Stakeholders of Minority Educational Institutions, Bureaucrats, Social activists, educationalists and all the people who have rendered their selfless service and contribution for bringing out such an outstanding report and recommendation of Minority Girls’ Education.

The report and recommendation on Minority Girl’s Education are available in the website of NCMEI: www.ncmei.gov.in.

Dr. Mohinder Singh, Member, Commitbtee on Girls’ Education, in his address highlighted the importance of modern and mainstream education along with the Madrasa education. He highlighted that the Madrasas in India are playing a vital role in providing education to the Muslim minority communities inIndia and at the same he suggested that stress should be given for providing more job oriented and vocational education to the students.

Dr. Fazal Gafoor, General Secretary, Muslim Educational Society, Kerala also made an elegant address on the issues being faced by the minorities in India. He highlighted that his organization is running more than 100 minority educational institutions in India and abroad. He said that the Muslims in Kerala are highly educationally empowered to their counterpart and the need is to replicate the educational and social systems to other States of India.

The programme ended with a vote of thanks by Zafar Agha, Member, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions. He thanked all the delegates who have come from faraway places and sparing their valuable time for making the function a great success.

[Dr. Shabistan Gaffar is Chairperson, Committee on Girls' Education, Nationaal Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, New Delhi.]
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