Follow norms or lose tag: Maharashtra warns minority institutes

(Matters India). Institutes that don’t follow norms likely to lose minority tag, warns Maharashtra state

Mumbai — Educational institutes that have been granted minority status in Maharashtra but are not fulfilling the laid down norms for the same would lose the tag, the government has warned.

“There are many organisations that don’t adhere to the conditions imposed on them to admit at least 50 per cent students from the minority community. Based on complaints and suo motu action, we will penalise such institutions. As and when we find large-scale irregularities, we will scrap the minority status of such institutions,” said Eknath Khadse, minister of the state’s minority affairs department.

As per figures of the state minority affairs department, Maharashtra has 2,472 minority institutions, of which 1,060 are religious institutes and 1,412 language institutes.

Khadse said his department was encouraging institutions to provide information about them on the state government’s web portal So far, 456 institutions had registered themselves on the web portal, he added.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), too, had in its recently-released report named three unaided minority educational institutions that had failed to fill 50 per cent seats from the minority community, Indianexpress reported.

The report said the Hiranandani Foundation Trust, Jamnaben Hirachand Ambani Foundation and Seth Rustomji Jamshetji Jijibhoy Gujarati School, all in Mumbai, filled only between 2.55 and 26 per cent of their total seats with minority community students during 2009-12.

Khadse also said that the department had decided to introduce Urdu as an optional third language in Marathi-medium schools to encourage students from minority communities to join mainstream academics.

“This will boost their inclusion in the government machinery. In Karnataka, a government servant is expected to know Kannada and in Kerala, one is expected to be well-versed in Malayalam. Similarly, to join Maharashtra’s administrative structure, Marathi will help. Today, there isn’t one Muslim IAS officer in Mantralaya,” Khadse said.

At present, the state government pays honorarium to 827 teachers, one per school, to take the Marathi foundation course for minority community students from classes VIII to X in non-Marathi and English-medium schools.

Besides, the government has also decided to start engineering colleges and polytechnic institutes, which will admit 70 per cent students from the minority community and 30 per cent from the general category. The first such polytechnic institute will come up in Muktainagar, Khadse’s own constituency, while more are planned in Malegaon, Aurangabad, Parbhani, Bhiwandi and Buldhana.

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