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'Marhaba': Modi's 'Madrasa' mission -I
Union government's present finance budget response to the problems and financial support for Madrasa education in the country is really 'Marhaba' (welcome) to PM Narendra Modi's Madrasa mission. The fact that Modi Government has allocated Rs 100 crores for Madrasa education in the current Budget clearly indicates a great change that should remove much of the apprehensions and miss giving from the mind of Muslims in India.

It also reveals Narendra Modi-led BJP government's fair, secular and foresighted policy which if followed consistently by the government in all matters of the socio-economic and educational development of the community, will certainly win the hearts of many of the Muslims who had perhaps some kind of fear and nightmare regarding the BJP government's attitude to the minority affairs. Above all, this allocation will certainly go a long way to give a new dimension to the Madrasa education.

At the same time, it must not be forgotten here that much depends on the correct, effective and right implementation of this sanction specifically for those primary and upper primary institutions where chiefly the children of poor and backward class Muslims go for their education. Besides, there exists great inequality in various parts of the country so far as the educational facilities to the Muslim children are concerned.

Some states like Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra have flourishing Madrasas because various schemes and aids are accessible to them whereas in other areas of the country most of the Madrasas are entirely deprived of these benefits and facilities. Similarly in some states, Muslims are left much behind the expected range of literacy, without receiving any aid and help for proper scope to receive education. Obviously these states should be given prime importance.

Similarly new schemes should be devised to give lift to some of the good Madrasas of the country to raise them to the standard of top institutions of the country with adequate fund so as to attract good and talented students to these institutions.

But the most important step is to take care of those states which have been neglected and deprived of the development in the field of education owing to various reasons. Take for instance the case of Odisha where owing to a scanty Muslim population, there are about 200 hundred recognized Madrasas and about 300 hundred private Madrasas with a State Madrasa Education Board which looks after it.

With much efforts, thorough the state government, various Madrasas came under the UPA government policy of modernization of Madrasa Education and were given the benefit of SPQEM from the year 2009. But an amount of 2,19,54,000 (Rupees Two Crores Nineteen Lakh and Fifty Four Thousands) for the previous is still to be released by the MHRD for the teachers of Madrasas. 2,33,52,000/- (Ruplees Two Crores Thirty Three Lakhs Fifty Two Thousands) under AIMMP scheme is still lying with the central government waiting to be released.

Appointment of teachers in the new 98 Madrasas have been approved by the state government, money has been sanctioned but the amount has not been released as a result of which these teachers are starving without getting their salaries for months together. Similarly 23 proposals for the development of some of the institutions under the IDMI schemes are lying with MHRD for the last three years for consideration while these schools are crumbling owing to lack of funds.

A striking anomaly is found in Odisha Madrasa Education in case of the service cader of the teacher. Whereas in the whole of country all the Madrasas teachers are treated as regular, in Odisha, one section of teachers is under regular service while another group of teachers are under block grant. This creates a great sense of discrimination and heart burning among the teachers.

Who is a member of the High Power State Grant in Aid Committee of SME Department and who is long associated with the Syllabus Committee, Examination Committee and other functions of the Odisha Madrasas Education Board has been moving the State Government to regularize the services of Madrasa teachers. On the condition of anonymity he says, "I have attended meetings convened by the MHRD at Delhi and raised the question of non-release of huge amount of money by MHRD to Odisha Government for payment to the poor Madrasa teachers, but no tangible action has been taken on these issues."

He added further, "There are many states in the country like Rajasthan, Bihar and others where many such problems exist and which considerably hamper the Madrasa Education in these states. All these relate chiefly to lack of funds to these institutions. Hence much depends on the implementation of the budget allocation for the Madrasa Education. Much of the problems of the Madrasa Education in the country could be solved with judicious and correct decisions by the Central Government by taking right steps and correct implementation of the various schemes to spend money in a fruitful and useful way."

Right from the beginning the Madrasa in India has been the cradle of education for the children of Muslims in the country, for usually the children start learning alphabets from the floor of Madrasa. Today these Madrasas have grown in large number in all parts of the country with innumerable problems which need immediate attention of the government.

First and foremost there is absolutely no uniformity of policy towards these educational institutions. In north India, Bengal, Bihar, U.P., Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and other places there are three different types of Madrasas. There are fully government aided Madrasas, partly aided Madrasas, Madrasas under block grant, and madrasas which are purely managed by private managements. But in other part of country like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and other places, these Madrasas are managed chiefly by private managements.

Apart from this, in U.P., in big cities like Lucknow and Deoband there are huge Madrasas which have their separate and independent managements and which collect fees from students, pay salary to the teachers and meet all expenses out of their own funds.

(To be concluded)

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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