N.J. Nair

Paloli panel may be made a permanent arrangement

Minority cell formed at Secretariat

To address educational backwardness

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The State government is actively considering a proposal to constitute a permanent mechanism for supervising minority welfare projects.

Official sources told The Hindu here on Thursday that an 11-member committee constituted by the government for looking into the implementation of the Sachar committee report in the State is likely to be converted into a permanent high-power panel for regularly reviewing the minority welfare projects.

The 11-member committee, headed by Local Administration Minister Paloli Mohammed Kutty, was constituted in April 2007. Though the committee submitted its recommendations to the government in April 2008, it has now been proposed to utilise its services in view of the complaints that a fair share of the welfare schemes launched by the government are not reaching the target groups, mainly the marginalised sections. This functional lapse has been cited as one of the main reasons for their backwardness.

Based on the suggestions of the Paloli committee, the government has formed a minority cell at the Secretariat. Once the committee submitted the report, a sum of Rs.10 crore allocated for its functioning has been transferred to the minority cell. The proposed committee will scrutinise the activities of the cell and the implementation of its recommendations from time to time. It will have to work out an action plan for expending the funds sanctioned to the cell, sources said.

Addressing the social and educational backwardness of Muslim girls will be one of the thrust areas of the committee. It has been proposed to open more schools and colleges and give scholarships for their education and research. Five training centres have been recommended in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Kannur and Malappuram to equip Muslim students appear for competitive examinations, including those conducted by the Public Service Commission. The committee will also have to iron out a proposal to provide education scholarship for Dalit Christian students. Improving the functioning of the Kerala State Backward Classes Development Corporation will also be one of the prime responsibilities of the committee, sources said.