Judges dismiss petitions against scholarship schemes for minorities

The minority issue has been dismissed by judges and they referred to the Sachar Committee report which gave its findings on November 17, 2006 that Muslim OBCs are not included in state and Central lists of OBCs. The committee also highlighted a number of reasons why Muslims in India were socially and educationally backward. The reasons included ghetto-ism, identity-related concerns, security, poor access to schools, inadequate Urdu schools besides prevailing employment and economic condition of Muslims. The Sachar committee had also pointed out that participation of Muslims was relatively lower in professional, technical, clerical and managerial work. Many of them are engaged in unorganised sector of economy and were worst affected by liberalisation, it said. The Committee had also noted that 38 per cent of Muslim population in urban areas and 27 per cent in rural areas was living below the poverty line. In education, they lag behind other communities at school and graduation levels. The court noted that the Sachar committee had said that literacy rate among Muslims is 59.1 per cent which is below the national average of 65.1 per cent. Besides, 25 per cent of Muslim children between 6 and 14 years have neither attended school or have dropped out. A majority of the community members have either failed in their matriculation examination or dropped out before they could reach that grade. Only one out of every 25 students enrolled in an undergraduate course is a Muslim and the proportion for the post-graduate courses stands at one in fifty, the Sachar committee had concluded. Muslims contribute only 1.3 per cent of students studying in all courses in all the IIMs in India and in absolute numbers they were only 63 out of 4743, it said.

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