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Maharashtra Muslims lag behind in education, jobs: Report

Monday November 21, 2011 01:02:57 PM, Shahid Raza Burney

Mumbai: A report submitted to the Maharashtra State Minorities Commission last week by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) states that the Muslims in Maharashtra lag considerably behind the rest in education, jobs and economic progress but are still better off compared to their counterparts in many north Indian states.

The study of the "demographic, socio-economic and educational status of the Muslim community in Maharashtra", conducted by D.P. Singh a professor at the Center for Research Methodology at TISS, revealed that a sizeable Muslim population has not at all entered the education system in the state and that the employment rate was also much lower than the general population.


Accordingly Singh recommends that more awareness must be created about the various policies, schemes and scholarships meant for Muslims.

"Over the last 20 years, the literacy level of the Muslim community has gone up in Maharashtra. But compared to other minority groups, it is much lower. Adult male literacy was also much lower as compared to the general population. Hence, their educational qualification must be enhanced to compete with other groups," Singh said.


"Further, they are mostly engaged in unskilled jobs owing to their low educational qualifications. Better training facilities should be made available them. It is also important to remove the obstacles responsible for the high dropout rates. The situation will improve when both the academic and economic fronts are taken care of", he added.

Singh in his report reveals that among the population age 5-29 years, 53.9 percent of Muslims are currently not enrolled in educational institutions, while the percentage of Hindus not attending school or college stands at 46.3 percent. Thus in comparison to the Hindu community, Muslims were found to be similar in educational achievement, but lag behind other minority communities like Jains, Sikhs, Christians and Zoroastrians.

According to Singh, the reasons for Muslims dropping out were multiple. Among the Muslim community, 30 percent in rural areas and 25 percent in urban areas cited financial and economic reasons for not attending school or college or for discontinuation. Need to join the labor force early was a predominant factor.

Unemployment rate among Muslims, the report stated, was found to be higher than that of the total figure for Maharashtra and it was found to be much higher in urban areas where concentration of the Muslim community is higher.

(Courtesy: Arab News)






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