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Programme for development of minorities: Kalam

This programme will aim at enhancing the social development of the minorities, especially the poor.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 15:02 IST

The government is preparing a new 15-point programme for minorities to enhance their social development, including modernising Madrasa edcuation, President APJ Abdul Kalam said on Thursday.

"This programme will aim at enhancing the social development of the minorities, especially the poor, modernise Madrasa education, and provide financial support for entrepreneurship development and self-employment," he said addressing a joint sitting of MPs on the first day of Parliament's Budget Session.

Kalam said "my Government intends to propose statutory measures to prevent and deal effectively with communal violence and communal offences and to enable rehabilitation of victims of communal riots".

In the midst of the controversy of the Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee, he said "it is studying in-depth the condition of minorities and is expected to recommend steps for their economic and social development and empowerment."

The controversy had broken out earlier this week on reported headcount of Muslims in the Armed Forces allegedly sought by the Sachar Committee.

But the Government denied any such exercise and Army Chief Gen JJ Singh assured his force will remain "apolitical and secular".

The Committee, set up in March last year by the Prime Minister's Office, has been given 15 months to submit its report.

First Published: Feb 16, 2006 14:31 IST