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After Sachar, NSSO survey shows Muslims most backward in India

Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:04:59 PM, TCN News

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New Delhi: After Sachar Committee, now National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), a central government body, has confirmed that India’s largest religious minority is the most backward community on the educational front. Muslims’ ratio in higher education is lower than even Scheduled Tribes (STs), considered most backward.

Attached to the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, NSSO, in its report titled “Education in India, 2007-08: Participation and Expenditure”, says that of 100 Muslims in the education system, just 10 are enrolled in high school and above. Similar ratio for STs is 11, Scheduled Castes (SCs) 12 and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) 14.

“This is not revealing. It is an open secret that Muslims are the most backward community educationally in the country,” says Arshad Ajmal of Lok Parishad NGO active in education and political issues.

The report also says that high education among urban Muslims is lower than their counterparts in rural areas. This despite the fact that urban areas have better educational facilities. According to the NSSO report published on May 19, just seven out of 100 urban Muslims in the education system were enrolled in high school or above as compared to 12 in rural areas.

“This is because poor Muslims in urban areas do not have easy access to education as they have in rural areas. The landless poor – laborers, rickshaw pullers etc – are hardly able to make their both ends, leave alone education of their children,” Ajmal adds.

He also offers solution. “Reservation for Muslims in education is must. Ranganath Mishra Commission report should be implemented.”

Christians lead all communities – religious and social – in pursing education, followed by Sikhs and OBCs.

It is most likely this fresh report highlighting the plight of the Muslim community will give fresh blood to the demand of reservation for the community in education and job.

The report is based on the household survey on participation and expenditure in education conducted in its 64th round. The field work of the nationwide survey was carried out during July 2007 to June 2008.


The survey covered a random sample of 445960 persons, from 63318 rural households and 37263 urban households spread over 7953 villages and 4682 urban blocks, covering the entire geographical area of the country.




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