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April 26, 2016

New avenues for minorities in Bengal

New avenues for minorities in Bengal

The Trinamool Congress Government has been ceaselessly pursuing holistic development of the minorities. The following are the key achievements under the Minority Affairs & Madrasah Education Department:

List of OBCs expanded: By introducing new legislation, the list of OBCs in West Bengal has been expanded to include 107 Muslim communities.

Higher education: In higher education, 17% reservation has been granted through State legislation. During 2014-15, about 60,000 students got admission in higher education. The State has made an additional provision of Rs 1,000 crore to implement this.

Scholarships/stipends: The number of students receiving scholarships/stipends has increased from 8,58,219 during 2007-2011 to more than 84 lakh during 2011-2015 – an increase of nearly 10 times. The amount of scholarships/stipends distributed has increased from Rs 171.47 crore during 2007-2011 to Rs 1,440 crore during 2011-2015.

Loans: The number of loan applications disposed of has increased from 1,15,457 during 2007-2011 to 3,86,417 during 2011-2015. The amount of loans distributed has increased from Rs 225.86 crore during 2007-2011 to Rs 709 crore during 2011-2015.

Aliah University: The New Town Campus of Aliah University, situated on 20 acres of land, with a sanctioned amount of Rs 236 crore, was inaugurated by Mamata Banerjee in November 2014. Another academic building at Park Circus with a financial sanction of Rs 62 crore is also complete.

Madrasah education: All the students of madrasahs, from Class VI onwards, are being provided basic knowledge of computer operation and of using the internet. West Bengal is the first State in India to take up such an initiative.

Hostels for students: The construction work for 382 hostels (192 girls’ and 190 boys’) have been taken up, out of which civil work for 206 hostels have been completed and 87 have been operationalised. Once put into operation, these hostels will benefit around 20,000 students.

Employment: More than 21,000 minority youth have got wage employment during 2011-2015 after successful completion of training, compared to 3,556 during 2007-2011.

Technical education: With a view to boosting technical training and employability of youth, 39 industrial training institutes (it is) and 8 polytechnic colleges are being set up in minority-concentrated areas.

Employment opportunities: The construction of 132 Karma Tirthas (marketing hubs) have been taken up for facilitating self-employment opportunities for youths from minority communities. Construction of Minority Bhavans have been sanctioned in all the districts to ensure easy access of the minorities by providing a single-window facility. Seventeen Minority Bhavans have become functional.

Haj: A Haj House (the third in Kolkata) has been constructed at Rajarhat. During the last four years, 50,362 Haj pilgrims have performed the Haj Pilgrimage. The government has facilitated the programme right from obtaining passports up to the return journey from Mecca.

Urdu: Urdu has been given the status of official language in areas having more than 10% Urdu-speaking population.

Housing: Housing for minorities has increased from 40,970 during 2007-2011 to more than 81,000 during 2011-2015.

The State budget allocation for the Department has increased more than five times, from Rs 472 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 2,500 crore in 2015-16. For 2016-17, Rs 2,500 crore has been allocated for the Department.