NEW DELHI: The government has approved 16 residential schools for Muslim students, which will be modelled on the traditional ‘Gurukuls’; and the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are taking a lead in this. The newest Indian state of Telangana is taking proactive measures to avail benefit of the Centre’s scheme. The scheme is estimated to cost about Rs. 262 crore.
The scheme is part of the Centre’s plan to modernise the education for Muslims in the country. Sources in the Ministry of Minority Affairs said: “Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been very receptive of the scheme and have even identified the land for the Gurukuls. In fact the States want more than one Gurukuls to be set up.” In Telangana, Muslims form 12.68 percent of the total population and in Andhra Pradesh they form 8.52 percent of the total population.
Apart from this the government has also announced to establish five universities of international standards to provide “better traditional and modern education” to students belonging to minority community.
A high level committee, comprising of Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia Talad Ahmad and Aligarh Muslim University’s Vice Chancellor Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah, has been constituted to look into the road map for the institutions, expected to be functional by 2018. “So far four States have expressed interest and they include Haryana, Punjab, Telangana and Maharashtra. The states have to provide 100 acres of land for the institute.
And the committee will be deciding if the institutions will be deemed minority institutions, what percentage of students will be from minority communities among other things,” sources added. The government has proposed to have 40 percent seats in these institutions reserved for girls. Education continues to remain a sore point for Muslim population in the country with high dropouts.
According to the 2006 Sachar Committee Report, “one-fourth of Muslim children aged between 6-14 have either never attended school or are dropouts”. A Parliamentary Panel has recently directed the Ministry of Minority Affairs has been directed to conduct a study to find the reasons behind the high drop-out rates.