A Long Way to Go

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Dr Ravi GuptaDespite a decade of high economic growth, India tops the list of countries in the United Nation’s Millennium Development Report with the largest share of global extreme poor. No doubt, this calls for an intense fight against poverty, infant and maternal deaths and the open defecation practice. Equally distressing is another recent report by the UN that puts India at the 135th rank in the Human Development Index, much below the top 100 performers. These issues have always haunted us since the Independence, thanks to numerous wrong decisions taken by the policy makers.

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Dr Najma Heptulla, who released the UN’s annual MDG report, however, remains hopeful that India will present a very different and upbeat picture when the 15-year review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is undertaken in 2030. Her optimism finds its roots in the inclusive growth message given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Backed by the strongest mandate in decades, the NDA government unveiled its maiden budget with substantial measures for strategic interventions in several social sectors by making higher allocation for education, sanitation and skill development to reverse the dismal situation. Also, as part of its call for development for all, the new government has assured funding for minority welfare and allocations for various minority-related schemes. An additional amount of Rs 100 crore for the modernisation of Madrasas has also been provided to the Department of School Education.

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The Sachar Committee report submitted in November 2006 details just how poorly Muslims are positioned in comparison to the majority community and other religious and social minorities. In this backdrop, we decided to dedicate this issue of digital Learning magazine to minority educational institutions across the country – the first of its kind exercise by any media house – engaged in promoting empowerment through education. We are sure the issue in your hand will serve its purpose by giving you an insight on how these institutions are working tirelessly to shape up minority education in the country.

To highlight the issues facing the education sector, minority institutions in particular, Elets Technomedia has joined hands with the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) for the fourth edition of the World Education Summit (WES) 2014 (http://wes.eletsonline.com) scheduled for August 7-8, 2014 in New Delhi. The Summit will see policy makers from the Centre and state governments, regulators and education leaders from primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities and minority educational institutions shed light on the opportunities, challenges and the road ahead.

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