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Government committed to welfare of minorities: Khurshid

Friday July 08, 2011 11:19:23 PM, IANS

Union Minister for Water Resources and Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid addressing at the inauguration of the Orientation Workshop for the National Level Monitors empanelled for monitoring of various Schemes of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, in New Delhi on July 08, 2011.

New Delhi: Minorities Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said the government was committed to the welfare of minorities in India as the government Friday began monitoring the implementation of the schemes launched for the purpose.

"We must understand the ground reality of these areas to take necessary steps. The government is committed to uplifting the minority communities and it is important to monitor the schemes launched for this purpose," Khurshid said.

He was speaking to reporters here after he inaugurated a two-day workshop on how to monitor the implementation of the programmes.

The government has initiated development projects and schemes in 150 minority concentration districts of the country as part of the the Prime Minister's 15-Point Programme for the welfare of minorities that includes enhancing opportunities for education.

The minister admitted that there were complaints about the implementation of such schemes. "But one cannot say that nothing has happened. A lot still needs to be done."

He said the government in 2010 gave out six million scholarships to the students of minority communities, particularly Muslims.

"Besides that, more than 750 fellowships were issued by (the University Grants Commission) UGC for students belonging to the minority community. In the next two years, we are planning to give around one crore scholarships."

India is home to the third largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.

Of the country's 1.2 billion population, Muslims are the largest minority at 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.







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