The NDA government’s ‘Nai Roshni’ scheme should be spread to all districts with large minority population.
New Delhi: In line with the NDA government’s sustained efforts of opposing triple talaq for empowering minority community womenfolk, the Niti Aayog has suggested to the Centre that women from minority communities should be given adequate representation in all institutions intended to promote their welfare like national and state women’s commissions, minority commissions and minority financial commissions.
The NDA government’s ‘Nai Roshni’ scheme, which is meant for providing leadership training skill for women of minority communities, should be spread to all districts with large minority population. The government think tank has further recommended that the Centre can consider giving a fee waiver to Madrassa students who opt for taking examination conducted by National Institute of Open Schooling.
The Niti Aayog has listed out a string of suggestions for the government as part of its three-year action plan (2017-18 to 2019-2020), which will run concurrently with the 15-year vision document.
As the Modi-led dispensation has started getting vocal about rights of minority community women, a move being seen as a step towards minority appeasement to counter the perception that it is soft towards perpetrators of cow vigilantism, and those attacking rationalists, the Niti Aayog’s recommendations for minorities fall under a chapter in the three-year action plan that is tellingly titled ‘Towards Building a More Inclusive Society’. It has recommended that in order to strengthen higher education for minorities, model degree colleges in all districts having large density of minority population, should be established by 2020.
As the exact number of madrasas is unclear, the Niti Aayog has also advocated the need for making efforts to modernise them through curricular reforms and provision of greater education facilities.
Emphasising on the importance of education for Muslim girls, it has observed that while 555 girls schools were sanctioned since 2006-07 in minority concentrated areas, the enrolment of students was only 16 per cent till 2013-14. Citing the example of Bihar, where girl students have been provided with bicycles for travelling to their neighbouring schools, the Niti Aayog has asked the Centre to enhance transportation facilities to these schools, which will help increase enrolment of students in them. The government think tank has suggested cash transfer, school stipend programmes in line with the ones introduced in Bangladesh, which cover all costs of schooling like uniforms and books for girl students in rural areas.
This programme in the neighbouring country not only had a beneficial impact on education, but also help in delaying age of marriage of girls.
It has said that all secondary and senior secondary schools sanctioned till date in areas with large minority population, should be made functional with immediate effect.