50 p.c. seats in five varsities to be reserved for minorities

Union Minister for Minority Affairs K. Rahman Khan on Saturday said the Moulana Azad Education Foundation, under his Ministry, was setting up five universities across the country. One of them would be established at Srirangapatna and it would be named after Tipu Sultan, the 18th century Mysore ruler.

Mr. Khan told presspersons that Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are the other States which would have such universities. He said 50 per cent of the seats in these institutions would be reserved for minorities. His Ministry would also build infrastructure such as Kendriya Vidyalayas for minority students.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also allocated coordination of minority affairs in the ministries of Rural Development, Finance, Child Welfare, Urban Development, Poverty Alleviation, Labour, Human Resource Development and Home. The stress was on making equitable distribution of allocation of resources under various schemes to the minorities such as Muslims, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis, who constitute 22 per cent of the population.

Scholarships

He said 15 per cent of funds earmarked in all the Central government schemes would be spent on these communities. As many as 1.42 crore students belonging to minority communities across the country, including 8.9 lakh in Karnataka, had been given Rs. 2,751 crore by way of pre-metric, post-metric and means-cum-merit scholarships for four years till 2007-08.

Facilities available

As of now, 15,489 primary schools, 8,000 upper primary schools and 1,90,390 additional classrooms had been built for them and Rs.1,089 crore worth micro-credit had been given to 1,000 applicants. Leadership and skill development programmes would be given to them in 90 districts which had minority concentration. Mr. Khan said the government would not interfere with madrasas, but would motivate them by paying the salary of teachers in science, English and computer subjects.