In total contrast to what he used to observe and repeatedly assert
before becoming a minister couple of months back, K. Rahman Khan,
Union Minister of Minority Affairs, while talking to a Saudi
newspaper held Indian Muslims partially responsible for their
“The community’s role in its own
development is almost negligible. We can’t always be demanding; we
should also be participative. That’s why our ministry is looking
into involving minorities and creating private-public partnership
schemes,” K. Rahman Khan told Saudi Gazette in an interview
during a private visit to Saudi Arabia.
Khan said that Muslims don’t venture out, because they feel that
they will not get jobs. To prove his point the minister gave the
example of civil services exam taken by 400,000 candidates every
He said that not even 4,000 Muslims
sit this exam. The fact, however, is that the percentage of
successful Muslim candidates is higher than the general students
attempting the civil services exam. Out of 700-800 successful
candidates at least 40 are Muslims.
“Muslims have to find ways to
empower themselves. They will be disappointed if they depend on
the government to address all issues,” he said.
“Treat government as a facilitator, not as a provider. Participate
actively with a positive attitude", he advised.
“The Sachar Committee also speaks about the role of the community
itself in its own development,” the minister said, alluding to the
commission set up in 2005 to submit a report on the social,
economic and educational condition of Muslims in India.
He, however, admitted that there was a lack of proper monitoring.
“We are going to set up an
independent monitoring mechanism to supervise some of the job
creation schemes and achievements made in providing job
opportunities,” he said.
Khan said that his ministry
regularly monitors various sectors, which has resulted in the
reduction of unemployment among minorities.
“In certain sectors like industry,
Muslim employment was only three percent, but now on average the
percentage has gone up to 6-6.5 percent", he said.
He said that his ministry is
seriously thinking of giving financial assistance to minority
students to attend coaching classes to help them qualify for civil
services, IITs and other exams.
He said that since its establishment in 2006, the Ministry of
Minority Affairs has initiated several programs based on the
recommendations of the Justice Sachar Committee, which are in
three areas: Education, economics and social backwardness.
“On the educational side, we have
started a number of schemes, particularly the scholarship scheme.
We have a number of educational institutes, but affordability is a
problem. So we have provided scholarships to students of pre-matric
(secondary) and post-matric (higher secondary) schools. This is a
massive program where more than 15 million minority students are
provided with scholarships,” the minister said.
“We have set up the Maulana Azad
Education Foundation (MAEF) which formulates and implements
educational schemes and plans for the benefit of educationally
backward minorities through interest earned on its Corpus Fund",
The Foundation provides more than 25,000 scholarships to female
students in addition to the 15 million scholarships already being
given to minority students.
Khan said that in the field of
self-employment and support in the economic sector, the government
has instructed banks to provide easy credit to the minority
community for self-employment or businesses.
The National Minorities Development
& Finance Corporation (NMDFC) provides concessional finance for
“In the social sector, we have
identified 90 minority concentrated districts in the country. We
have initiated the Multi-sectoral Development Program (MSDP) under
which we set up hospitals, roads, schools, skill-development
centers, and polytechnics in areas which lack these facilities",
The minister said that the Waqf Act amendment bill is almost
ready. It has already been introduced in parliament. As part of
the waqf reform, the Central Waqf Council will now get supervisory
Earlier the central government had
no role to play in financial assistance, but now the central
government will give financial assistance also to waqf boards.
“We are digitalizing waqf properties
so information is easily available about them, their misuse, and
their encroachment. We are going to implement stringent laws for
those who misuse these properties. Now the onus of proving the
legality of titles has shifted to the people who hold illegal
title deeds. Now holding of property after the expiry of the lease
will be a cognizable offense,” Khan said.