Minority Affairs Minister K. Rahman Khan Saturday urged the Muslim community to draw up its own roadmap for the future and define its own priorities, adding that a Rs.50,000 crore educational fund should also be created. Khan was inaugurating a national seminar on "Professionalisation of Education: Problems and Opportunities for Indian Muslims," organised by the Centre for Promotion of Educational and Cultural Advancement of Muslims of India at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
He said India had achieved a lot of progress through the planning process and such type of "planning is needed for the Muslim community by its own intelligentsia".
Paying rich tributes to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, founder of the AMU for his vision and mission, he suggested Muslims should make an effort to mobilise their own resources and establish educational institutions on their own.
Khan lamented that Muslims were equally responsible for their backwardness. He said in south India, Muslims have established 16 medical colleges and more than 100 engineering colleges to provide professional education to the community.
He said lack of awareness is a major cause of backwardness of Muslims. Delivering the keynote address, Syed Zafar Mahmood, IRS (retd) said Muslims are the most backward community in education and their share in job market is the lowest. He pointed that the National Minority Scholarship Scheme was not implemented in Gujarat while it was implemented by other BJP-ruled states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.
He suggested ITI courses should be extended to the Muslim-dominated areas and these professional courses should be extended to Madrassa-educated children. Khan said Muslims should adopt a positive attitude. He said that since Muslims form the second largest majority, the country cannot progress without their active participation. Brigadier (Retd.) S. Ahmad Ali, Pro-Vice Chancellor, AMU, in his presidential address, said we live in an age of competition and in job market the demand of professionally and educationally competent and skilled persons is more as compared to merely skilled workers.
Professional education seems a better option especially for Muslims who are blessed with multi-faceted skills yet lag behind in getting coveted jobs due to lack of formal education, he added. Brig. Ali urged the Muslim community to provide quality education. He suggested the government should fix accountability from Delhi, establish community targeted centres, provide girls hostels in Muslim-centric areas and demanded secularisation of education at the school level.
Earlier, Shamim A. Ansari, Director of the Centre, said this centre is one of the most important centres of the university working for the promotion of Muslims. He said knowledge without use is worthless with regard to professionalisation of education. He said educational institutions must have their fingers on the nerve of market where most demanded jobs are available.
Ansari observed that Muslim institutions fail to visualise the changing scenario of the world with regard to conditions and nature of job opportunities attracting people. As a result, Muslims students are generally compelled to pursue traditional education.