Panel suggests quota for Muslims' college admission

A government-appointed committee has recommended a quota and relaxation in qualifying marks to Muslims in admissions to public-funded colleges. It also suggested a slew of measures for promotion and preservation of Urdu.

In its report presented to Human Resource Development Minister M M Pallam Raju on Thursday, the panel suggested that "Urdu medium students" should be given a relaxation of five per cent in qualifying marks, but did not quantify the number of seats that it sought to be reserved for them.

“This is necessary because they come from educationally, socially and economically extremely backward sections of the society,” the seven-member panel, headed by a senior professor of Islamic studies at Jamia Millia Islamia Akhtarul Wasey, noted.

The committee also suggested that the government should take effective measures for promotion of English language among Muslims for their “capacity building”. It recommended that need-based courses in English be introduced for minority students in the age group of 13-19 years.  Separate courses should be designed for Muslim women. It sought the government to make Urdu “compulsory” for administrative and semi-academic staff in “every institution” meant for education, teaching, promotion and propagation of Urdu.

The panel also made a strong pitch for making Urdu a national language, maintaining that it “qualified” for such a recognition as it was spoken by a “considerable” number of people.

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