Mumbai The government has appointed the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to conduct a study on the socio-economic and educational status of the Muslim community in 56 Muslim-majority areas of the state for three months, with the aim of uplift the minority community.
“To understand the social, educational and economic status of the Muslim community, TISS will study their ratio of literacy, employment, health status, standard of living, financial aids from banks or other financial institutions , basic facilities in Muslim-dominated areas and benefits received by the minority community in various government welfare programs,” reads a government resolution (GR) released by the state’s Department of Minority Affairs on Wednesday. He added that the study, for which the government approved an expenditure of ₹33.92 lakh, will identify the reasons and constraints behind bringing the minority company into the mainstream and make recommendations to overcome them.
In 2008, the state government formed the Mehmood-ur-Rehman committee to study the educational, social and economic backwardness of Muslims and propose measures to improve their condition. He was asked to study the conclusions of the report of the commission of Judge Ranganathan Mishra and the report of the Sachchar committee which had given the real status of the community in the country.
In his report submitted to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Mehmood-ur-Rehman had recommended an eight percent reserve to the community in government jobs and education, among other recommendations.
The seven-member committee, appointed by former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, was headed by retired IAS officer Mehmood-ur-Rehman and included retired officers from the IAS, IPS, as well as professors from institutes such as TISS.
Islamic scholar and secretary general of the All India Ulema Council, Maulana Mehmood Dariyabadi, said this was not the first time such a committee was formed. In the past, the central government and the state governments had also set up such committees and their reports were also submitted, but nothing happened after that.
“It is a proven fact that Muslims are the most backward community in the country. In 2014, the state government said it would reserve government jobs and education for the community. The Bombay High Court removed community reservation in government jobs but allowed it in education. If the state government is really serious about the backwardness of the community, they should bring the reserve in education back to the community,” Dariyabadi said.
The Congress-NCP government announced in 2014 a 5% reserve for the Muslim community in education and government jobs. The Bombay High Court later quashed the government’s notification in response to public interest litigation (PIL), but said Muslims could be reserved in education. The BJP-led government that came to power in 2014 chose not to continue with Muslim reservations, saying it was not in favor of granting reservations on the basis of religion.