NEW DELHI: As the latest minister speaking against the Triple Talaq, Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the practice is against the values of gender equality enshrined in the Constitution. He asserted the government is working within the ambit of the Constitution and hinted it is working towards building a consensus on the Uniform Civil Code.
Ministry of State (independent Charge) for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi talks to Ritu Sharma about Uniform Civil Code, Triple Talaq and the need for higher education for the minority community. Excerpts:
Only 11 per cent Muslims take up higher education. What is the government doing to improve this figure?
We are planning to establish around 100 educational institutions of international standard in minority-dominant areas. They will also house Gareeb Nawaz Skill Development Centres, so if after schooling they want to study further, we would help them in developing vocational skills. We are also planning five world-class varsities.
Government has equated Madrassa degree with CBSE certificates in five states. Will Centre promote such steps in other states too?
Any madrassa imparting mainstream education will get help from us. We will help students with scholarship and mid-day meal.But sometimes, Madrassas take it as government intervening and so we want to tread cautiously.
Has the Centre prepared any draft of Uniform Civil Code? How will it tackle Triple Talaq issue?
The Law Commission is working towards building a consensus towards UCC and Triple Talaq by vox populi. As far as the UCC is concerned, the consensus has to be built before something can be done. In case of Triple Talaq, we think that constitution should categorically speaks for gender equality. So if women are not getting equal status, we will have to do something.
There was a proposal to increase Pre-Matric scholarship and Post-Matric Scholarship for Muslim students, but Ministry of Finance turned it down citing financial crunch. How will students survive in `25, `40 or `50 per month?
Presently, it is budget-based scholarship and now we are going to make it demand-based. With increasing inflation we need to increase the amount as well.