Govt accepts Sachar panel recommendations in toto
The government has accepted nearly all recommendations of the Sachar panel that had brought out the socio-economic backwardness among Muslims and set the ball rolling for their implementation.
Besides focusing on raising education and skill levels within the community, the government has decided to get expert panels look at the setting up mechanisms like the Equal Opportunity Commission and formulate a diversity index.
The government has also decided to set up a National Data Bank that would maintain all relevant data for various socio-religious communities. This data would be evaluated by an autonomous assessment and monitoring authority to be set up in the Planning Commission.
The Cabinet also gave its formal approval to identification of 90 districts with the concentration of minorities; 53 of them are way below the national average in terms of socio-economic conditions. Guidelines would be issued to all central ministries to prepare their plans in a manner than these districts get the required attention and resources.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has directed all ministers concerned to work out implementation of the recommendations concerning their ministries, Information and Broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi announced after the cabinet meeting.
Dasmunsi said the educational backwardness of the community would be addressed through a multi-pronged strategy that would focus on improving access to education of girls. The ministry of minority affairs would also implement three scholarship schemes in addition to a coaching scheme.
An inter-ministerial group is also being set up to plan and monitor the implementation of a comprehensive programme for skill and entrepreneurship development among Muslims.
Dasmunsi emphasised on the importance of bank credit to Muslims as a large proportion of this community is engaged in self-employment activities. Banks would be told to ensure that adequate credit is made available to minorities and Muslims in particular when formulating the district plan.
The Cabinet also approved the national policy for the voluntary sector that aims at establishing an enabling environment and examine the feasibility of enacting a simple and liberal central law to register societies, trust and non-profit companies. It also commits the government towards strengthening the voluntary sector and encouraging independent philanthropic institutions to provide financial assistance to deserving organisations.
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