It has been more than 11 years since the Sachar committee report is out. The report highlighted the Social, Economic, Educational Status of Muslim community in India. A total number of 76 recommendations were laid down by the report. In which 72 recommendations were accepted by the government. For implementing these recommendations, the government took 43 decisions by clubbing recommendations of similar nature. The decisions were clubbed into 7 major focus areas: Education, Skill Development, Access to Credit, Special Development Initiatives, Measure for affirmative action, Waqf and Miscellaneous. The duty for implementing the recommendations was given to the concerned ministry.
Highlights of the Findings of Sachar Committee report:
- The literacy rate of Muslims in 2001 was 59.1% which is far below the National Average of 64.8%
- 25% of the children of the age group 6-14 either did not go to the school or dropped out at some stage.
- Only 1 out of 25 undergraduates and 1 out of 50 post-graduates Muslim students are studying in “premier colleges”.
- Relatively high share of Muslim workers engaged in self-employment activity
- Muslim regular workers are the most vulnerable with no written contract and social security and benefit.
- RBI’s efforts to extend banking and credit facilities under the Prime Minister’s 15-point programme has mainly benefited other minorities, marginalising Muslims.
- In both urban and rural areas, the proportion of Muslim households living in pucca houses is lower than the total population
- About a third of small villages with high concentration of Muslims do not have any educational institutions.
- Muslims face much higher relative deprivation in urban areas.
- The presence of Muslims was found to be only 3% in the IAS, 1.8% in the IFS and 4% in the IPS
- Muslims who have secured high level appointments could do it mostly as ‘promoted candidates’; their share as direct recruits through competitive examinations is low at 2.4%, 1.9% and 2.3% respectively
- Share of Muslims in employment in various departments is abysmally low at all levels
- Muslim community has a representation of only 4.5% in Indian Railways. Almost all (98.7%) of them are positioned at lower levels
- The representation of Muslims is very low at 2.2% in bank employment overall, just 1.7% at higher levels and 2.5% at lower level positions
Highlights of the Recommendations of Sachar Committee Report:
- Create a National Data Bank (NDB) where all relevant data for various socio-religious categories are maintained.
- Mechanisms to ensure equity and equality of opportunity to bring about inclusion should be such that diversity is achieved and at the same time the perception of discrimination is eliminated.
- Government should provide financial and other support to initiatives built around occupations where Muslims are concentrated and that have growth potential
- The community should be represented on interview panels and Boards.
- Set up a national Wakf development corporation with a revolving corpus fund of Rs 500 crore.
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Access to education was the major thrust area for the Sachar Committee report. And one of the ways to provide education was through scholarship. In 2012, 90 lacks students were provided scholarship. Till 2016-17, total fund of Rs. 10,607.96 crore have been released for the scholarships of minority communities. Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan since 2006-07 to 2016-17:
- Primary schools constructed: 16,279
- Upper primary school constructed: 8,176
- New primary schools opened: 21,486
- Upper primary schools opened: 11,871
- No of teachers sanctioned: 1,25,386
Analysing the socio economic conditions of the Muslims, it has not changed a lot. Around ¼ beggars in India are Muslim. In 2014-15 only 8.50% of Muslims were in government jobs.
In order to evaluate the implementations of Sachar Committee report and Prime Minister’s 15 Point Programme, a new committee was formed in August 2013. It was under the chairmanship of Amitabh Kundu. It is also called as Post Sachar Evaluation Committee. The report state that after 6 years of the implementation of the Sachar Committee, a least amount of socio economic changes was observed in the Muslim community. The Committee was formed in UPA rule, but the report came out in NDA rule. NDA ruled out the report by saying minorities are not only Muslims.
The Indian Express reported that, “According to the Kundu Committee report, Muslims continue to be left out of both government jobs and the urbanisation wave. Moreover, the basic advantages of a better sex ratio and higher birth weight have been wasted due to a lack of health facilities in areas dominated by Muslims and a high school drop-out rate.”
Also it has reported that, “The report found that schemes included under the 15-point programme are plagued by funds shortage and Muslim areas continue to miss out on health infrastructure, as had been pointed out in the Sachar report. School enrolments had risen since 2005 when that report came, but high drop-out rates wipe out any real developmental premium, it said.”
Kundu Committee report observed that significant amount of fund was not released under the Prime Minister’s 15 Point Programme. No new schools and hospitals were opened in Muslim dominated areas. A larger chunk of Muslim population is far away from getting government jobs and higher education. Also the rural population of Muslim is slightly better than SC/ST.
So, all these reports say the similar things that most of the Muslims are backward, illiterate and unemployed. There was a time back in between 8th century and 12th century when the Muslims flourished in each and every subjects. The period was called an Islamic Golden Age. Islamichistory.org reports that:
During this period, artists, engineers, scholars, poets, philosophers, geographers and traders in the Islamic world contributed to agriculture, the arts, economics, industry, law, literature, navigation, philosophy, sciences, sociology, and technology, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding inventions and innovations of their own. Also at that time the Muslim world became a major intellectual centre for science, philosophy, medicine and education. In Baghdad they established the “House of Wisdom“, where scholars, both Muslim and non-Muslim, sought to gather and translate the world’s knowledge into Arabic in the Translation Movement.
That was the time when Muslims were flourishing in most of the areas. But today we can see a sharp decline in the social, economic and educational status of the Muslims.