Centre for minority members on boards

Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Centre is working hard on reaching out to Muslims as it has directed the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to ensure that all selection boards or committees for recruitment in government and public sector undertakings should have one member belonging to minority community.

While reviewing the minorities’ status in employment in government as well as PSUs on Tuesday, Minister for Minority Affairs K Rahman Khan also directed the DOPT to submit its status report on this issue at the earliest.

The move is likely to generate political controversy as it appears to consolidate Muslim vote bank during the 2014 polls to off-set the BJP trying to polarise voters by projecting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as their poll campaign committee head.

The minister is going to form a committee comprising corporate and government officials to bring out a blueprint on implementing corporate social welfare schemes that would uplift the minorities.

In the meeting, which was also attended by representatives of industrial chambers, the minister asked the corporate sector to join hands with the ministry as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) for skill development programmes in minority-concentrated areas.

Besides, he also asked the private business houses to provide resources to the Maulana Azad Educational Foundation, an outfit of the Ministry of Minorities, under CSR to take up programmes in infrastructure development, providing scholarships, skill development and entrepreneurial development to minorities.

 Khan has already announced setting up five Central universities in the minority-concentrated areas of the country with 50 per cent reservation to religious minorities.

While some of the Congress-ruled states have given job reservations to minorities, the UPA government also directed all states to constitute special courts to expedite the trial against Muslims who were facing different charges. 

Last week, the Union Cabinet approved the special development scheme in 710 “minority-concentrated” blocks and 66 towns all over the country with a budget of Rs 1,250 crore.

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