Aiming to modernize the community's educational centres, including the madrasas (religious schools), the Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Saturday launched an association of the management bodies of Muslim educational institutes. The new Federation of Muslim Educational Institutes (India) will be an umbrella body of these institutes. Jamat-e-Islami Hind is a prominent Muslim body that works for the welfare of the community, especially in the field of education, though it is sometimes criticized for its conservative views. “The idea is to improve the quality of education and make it uniform to match the modern day needs. Besides, there are a lot of government schemes for the welfare of minorities that the managing bodies usually are unaware of,” JIH spokesperson Mujtaba Farooq told the sources. The federation will also provide training to teachers serving in madrasas and schools to equip them with modern education, he said. About 2,000 NGOs running schools and colleges in various states have already registered as members. However, among the leading madrasas, only Jamiatul Falah in Azamgarh has come on board. Other leading madrasas, including Darul Uloom Deoband and Nadwatul Ulema in Lucknow, did not attend the meeting even though they were invited. “Niyaz Farooqi and Abdul Hameed Nomani from Jamiat Ulema and someone from Nadwa were supposed to come. They did not turn up, but the federation has their blessings,” said a JIH source. “Modernization of madrasas is a part of this programme not its only aim,” he added. Prominent Muslim leaders, including former parliamentarian Syed Shahabuddin, retired bureaucrat and chancellor of Jamia Hamdard University Syed Hamid and Justice Sohail Siddiqui, took part in the proceedings.