Abid Rasool Khan appointed chairman

The Government has finally reconstituted the State Minorities Commission by appointing Abid Rasool Khan, educationalist and general secretary of Pradesh Congress Committee as its chairman and Rev Dr. Perumallepalle Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose of Guntur as vice-chairman. Five others representing the prominent minority groups such as Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Jains have been appointed as its members.

The term of office for all of them will be three years. The five members are Syed Maqbool Hussain Basha (Kadapa district), Dr Hassan Qurratulain (Hyderabad), Ms. Prabha Elizabeth Joseph (East Godavari), Sardar Sarjit Singh (Ranga Reddy) and Gautam Jain (Hyderabad).

All these posts have been lying vacant since April 2009 when the previous body stepped down on expiry of its term. The commission will guide the government on policies, programmes and various welfare schemes being implemented for minorities like fee reimbursement, scholarships, construction of Shaadi Khanas, and repairs to old churches etc, giving suggestions periodically to tone up the implementation.

The reconstitution is seen as timely action because of the massive allocation of Rs. 1,027 crore made in the 2013-14 budget for minorities welfare -- a 110 per cent hike over that of the previous fiscal – Rs. 489 crore.

A press note issued by the Chief Minister’s office in this connection spoke of his concern for minorities, referring to establishment of a Commissionerate of minorities welfare for which as many as 69 posts have been sanctioned. Dr. Abid Rasool Khan is a grandson of Ghulam Rasool Khan, Collector in the then Hyderabad Government and son of Abdul Mannan Khan, a journalist. He served as a member of the executive council, Osmania University, and the State Haj Committee. He heads Mannan Group which runs a chain of educational institutions in Hyderabad.