Education and loan facilities for minority and backward communities
The Government has evolved a strategy to ensure better education and loan facilities to minority and backward communities in the country. The Government implements schemes for scholarships, fellowship, free coaching for competitive examinations and development of educational infrastructure for educational empowerment of notified minorities. Loans at concessional interest rates are also extended to notified minorities by National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC), a Central Public Sector Enterprise under Ministry of Minority Affairs. For Other Backward Classes (OBCs), the schemes of Scholarships and concessional loans are implemented by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and National Backward Class Finance Development Corporation respectively.
Six minority communities namely Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Parsis, Buddhist and Jain, have been notified under clause ‘C’ of Section 2 of the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992, whereas backward communities fall under reserved category. The broad criteria for identifying the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) are social, educational, economic backwardness and inadequate representation in Central Government posts and services of such castes and communities.
Ministry of Minority Affairs, since 2007-08, has awarded Pre-Matric, Post Matric and Merit-cum Means based scholarships to 3.32 crore minority students. Ministry also provided assistance for free coaching to 50,853 minority students since 2007-08. In addition, educational infrastructure has been strengthened in minority concentration areas under Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP). Since inception of MsDP in 2008-09, construction of 1147 new school buildings, 21006 additional classrooms and 698 hostels have also been sanctioned. Further, for economic empowerment, NMDFC has disbursed concessional loans of Rs. 2771 crore to 10.14 lakh minority beneficiaries.
As regards achievement for OBCs, 383.35 lakh Scholarships under Pre-matric Scholarship and 157.03 lakh Scholarships under Post-matric Scholarship have been given and Rs. 56477.32 lakh and 370955.08 lakh have been disbursed respectively. Further, Rs. 13111.06 lakh have been disbursed to 0.32 lakh OBC beneficiaries under Educational Loans Scheme of National Backward Class Finance Development Corporation (NBCFDC).
This was stated by Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Minister of State for Minority Affairs in reply to question in Rajya Sabha today.
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