Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid
Govt. for Legislators' Committee to monitor Development of
Irked by the deadlock vis-à-vis the schemes meant for development of
the minorities in the state Maharashtra government decided to form.....
The government is committed to the welfare of minorities but
“fairness” in implementing schemes is needed to avoid questions
being raised, Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Monday.
He assured that a commission to deal with discrimination on the
basis of religion, caste, gender and language will be created soon.
“There is nothing to worry about (for minorities). We are committed.
We have programmes for their welfare but let’s implement them with
fairness so that no questions are raised,” Khurshid told reporters
was speaking at the 10th editors’ conference on social sector
The minister said the government has “entirely” accepted the
recommendations, barring one, of the Rajinder Sachar Committee,
which was appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to study the
social and economic status of minorities in India.
The Sachar Committee report suggested mechanisms to ensure equity
and equality of opportunity in jobs and education to Muslims, who
form the largest minority in India.
India’s 1.2 billion population, Muslims constitute 14 percent
followed by Christians at 2.3 percent, Sikhs at 1.9 percent,
Buddhists at 0.8 percent, Jains at 0.4 percent and others including
Parsis at 0.6 percent.
Salman Khurshid said an equal opportunities commission will be
formed soon to deal with discrimination faced by minorities in areas
like employment, education and housing.
“The report on the equal opportunities commission is close to draft
legislation. It will take the social justice discourse to a new
higher level,” he said.
The minister said that the commission won’t be specific to minority
“It will work among identified groups who have suffered deprivation.
It will ensure that equal opportunities are given to all,” he said.
said the government has identified 90 districts in the country where
Muslims comprise 25 percent and has earmarked Rs.3,700 crore for the
development of these districts in the current Five Year Plan
Khurshid said the government was in the process of finalizing a bill
to ensure that the Wakf boards - trusts which look after Muslim
mosques, shrines and allied properties - function in a streamlined
The records of Waqf boards will also be computerised “to ensure
proper survey and cross checking of Waqf data in all states and
improve office efficiency and preparation of timely reports on
various administrative matters”, he said.
The scheme will streamline record keeping and introduce transparency
in Waqf properties.
The scheme will be uniformly applicable across all the 29 state Waqf
boards except for Jammu and Kashmir, he said.