Last Updated: May 2023 (Minorities)
This article deals with ‘Minorities ’. This is part of our series on ‘Society’ which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.
Why do Minorities need protection?
- In democratic politics, it is always possible to convert a numerical majority into political power through elections. It makes minorities politically vulnerable.
- State Machinery, mainly under the majority community, can suppress religious or cultural institutions of minorities.
- In the Constitutional Assembly debates, Ambedkar described the minorities are an explosive force that, if erupts, can blow up the whole fabric of the state. The history of Europe bears ample and appalling testimony to this fact.
Sachar Committee Recommendations
- Set up an Equal Opportunity Commission
- The delimitation procedure should not reserve constituencies with a high minority population for Scheduled Castes.
- Increase employment share of Muslims
- Work out mechanisms to link madrasas with the school board.
- Recognise degrees from madrasas for eligibility in defence, civil and banking examinations.
Population of different Religious Groups
The population of various religious groups in India is as follows.
Although the Muslim population has increased, but the reason is low socio-economic development. Sachar Committee estimated that Muslims’ proportion will rise from 18% to 21% by 2101 under different scenarios.
States with the highest percentage of Muslims include J&K (67%), Assam (30.9%), West Bengal (25.2%), and Kerala (24.7%).
School Education of Minorities
- The educational Status of Muslims is marginally higher than SC/ST.
- Contrary to the common belief that a large number of Muslim children attend madrasas for primary education, only 4% of Muslim children among the school-going age go to madrasas.
- Instead, many Muslim children are enrolled in Maktabs, which provide supplementary religious education to children enrolled in public schools.
Job Share of Muslims in any government job is not near their population proportion
Schemes for Minorities
- USTAAD Scheme is used for skilling minority artisans.
- The scheme primarily focuses on arts like Kashmiri embroidery, Bengali jardosi, Sikh phulkari embroidery, Buddhist Thangka paintings etc.
- Nai Manzil is used for skilling the Madrassa passouts with skills such as computer education, English speaking etc. so that they can join the mainstream.
- Udaan Scheme is used for skilling J&K youth.
Sikho aur Kamao
- Under the scheme, a person belonging to Minority Community can get computer knowledge, tailoring skills etc. from Private institutions and the Government to reimburse that institution.
Nai Roshini Yojana
- Nai Roshini Scheme is used for generating Leadership among Minority Women.
Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centres
- Under the scheme, the Skill Development Centres will be established in 100 districts.
- Employment-oriented skill development courses of short term (2 to 6 months) in fields such as mobile and laptop repairing, security housekeeping training, etc., will be given to minority students.
- Jiyo Parsi is a scheme focussed on Parsi Community.
- Need of the Scheme: The population of the Parsi community in India declined by 50% in the last 60 years.
- Objective: To increase the Total Fertility Rate of the Parsi community.