In yet another bid to win over minorities ahead of the Lok Sabha elections,Samajwadi Party government will provide reservation in education to minority students. New colleges will be set up in districts with minority population and 50% seats will be reserved for students of the community.
The current stint of SP government has been dominated by schemes meant to woo minorities like getting a boundary wall constructed around graveyards, allocating 20 welfare budgets for minorities and handing out cheques to minority girls for education and marriage. But, most of these schemes, two years after being announced, have either not taken off or are have seen a change in the format.
Initially, new colleges were to be opened by government, but with realisation that 50% reservation for minority students in government institutes could be challenged constitutionally, SP government did a re-think. Now government wishes to make it happen through private colleges, but whether private colleges will join in to make state government reap electoral benefits or not remains to be seen.
Since the scheme aims at providing modern education to minority students, new colleges (from class I to XII) have to be well-equipped and affiliated to either CSBE, ICSE/ISC or UP board.
‘Education hub’, the scheme announced as one of the poll promises by SP government, has been on the hold all this while.
The imminent Lok Sabha elections, however, have made the government hurry its pending schemes for minorities. “Emphasis is on fulfilling promises we made in the manifesto,” said principal secretary minority welfare Devesh Chaturvedi.
When it was announced as a poll promise, new colleges were to be set up by the government. Two years later, Educational hub has got its guidelines changed.
“Finding land to set up new colleges is difficult,” said the official. Out of the two new colleges to be up in every minority concentration area, one has to be exclusively for girls.
To find vacant land at a location which is easily accessible and not far-off from minority clusters is difficult. On the other hand, at some of these identified clusters where government wants to implement the scheme this year, there are middle level private schools and Inter colleges running already.
Some of these private institutes might have enough space on the premises to set up a new college. “Government will provide them aid,” said the official. Rs 39 crore has been allocated for Educational hub scheme.
Government will also provide free land to private educational institutions to set up two new colleges in minority concentration districts and ensure 50% reservation to minority students in new colleges.
In the first phase, 20 minority concentration districts have been selected. UP has 19.33% minority population of which Muslims comprise 18%.
Source: Education News