//Concrete steps demanded to improve educational backwardness of Muslims in India

Concrete steps demanded to improve educational backwardness of Muslims in India

Washington DC, July 5 (IMI) Indian Muslims living in America demanded Government of India to take effective steps to improve the educational backwardness of Muslims in India.

A delegation of Association of Indian Muslims of America (AIM) comprising of its two board members Dr Syed Naseem, Kaleem Kawaja – held a one hour meeting in Washington DC with Mr Vylar Ravi, minister for Overseas Indians, Government of India on the situation of Muslims in India.

The delegation presented a memorandum to the minister demanding concrete steps for the education of Indian Muslims. They also requested Government of India to do more to preserve the minority character of Aligarh Muslim University.

Minister Vylar Ravi explained what the current Indian Govt is doing in this direction, and promised to convey AIM's requests directly to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and to provide a point of contact person in the Indian government with whom AIM can pursue these subjects further.

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ASSOCIATION OF INDIAN MUSLIMS OF AMERICA
P O Box 10654, Silver Spring, MD 20914

Memorandum to Honorable Vylar Ravi, Minister for Overseas Indians,
Government of India by AIM

Issue:

How we Indian Muslims in U.S. can contribute to:
(a) the continuation of fast rate of growth of the Indian economy and,
(b) the improvement in the educational status of Muslims to prepare to meet
the challenges of 21st century and the requirements of the rapidly growing
Indian economy.

1. Indian Muslims in America are proud of India's economic achievements. The high rate of economic growth with democratic system of governance is unparalleled in history. India's advancement in science and technology and highly educated manpower are also contributing to the global economy. Much of India's progress can be attributed to the pool of educated manpower that is at the cutting edge of knowledge in the world. These are of course a small proportion of India's large pool of manpower and many from poverty
stricken areas are left out. Only very few Muslims are able to take advantage of it.

2. The current situation of Muslims with respect to education is pitiful. About half the Muslims are literate and the proportion is much lower among Muslim women (11%)… Less than one of every 10 teen agers goes to school. One in four adult Muslim women works. They are a minority within minority. Only about 4% of the examinees in class 10 are Muslims. Their representation in higher level technical and professional education is more limited.
Muslims are not even in large businesses. Due to lack of qualification they are not well represented in the corporate sector. Muslims are starting with a very low base and have a long way to go. India cannot become a super power with a vast majority of people (Muslims) having no education or little irrelevant education.

3. AIM appreciated the recognition of the above problems by the Government of
India. The Prime Minister has rightly formed a High Level Committee to report on the Economic and Educational Status of India's Muslim Community. AIM is waiting for the results of the Committee's deliberation and a plan for the implementation of the recommendations of this Committee. AIM would like to help the Government in raising the economic and educational status of Muslims in India so that they can be equal partners in India's quest to become a super power. We would like to seek your advice as to how you think the NRIs in US can help in this effort.

4. AIM also appreciates the efforts currently being made by Muslims and other organizations in improving the status of Muslims especially in education. However, you will agree that bold, innovative and large scale measures are needed to reduce the gnawing gap between the current situation and the rapidly growing requirements of the Indian economy. A few areas needing special attention are:

o Implementation of the recommendations of the Committee in a speedy manner. AIM would like to comment on the Committee report and be partner with the Government in these efforts to the extent it can.

o AIM could develop a common framework for actions taking the findings of the Committee into account so that a number of agencies/organizations can take coordinated and concerted actions.

o Help expand educational opportunities and employment of Muslim women especially in most depressed areas.

o Improve the quality of traditional craft in which Muslim men and women are
engaged to compete in the global economy and find foreign market.

o Help Government select the best from among young Muslim students for providing special opportunities (financial support and coaching) to go to higher education, especially to compete for IITs, IIMs, IIScs and other universities. There are good examples of it.

o Improve the quality of education in Madarsas by intensive training of trainers. There are best practices in this respect and could be expanded to other areas.

o Involve the private sector to pay special attention to Muslim education and employment.

o Provide reservation for Muslim students in technical and professional higher education institutions for a few years, to help the community recover from its extraordinary backwardness in these areas.

AIM would like to have recognition and be provided with counterpart institutions and responsible officials in the Government of India, for implementing the above action items for the educational uplift of India's Muslim community.