Udayavni Special

‘Restructuring of minority scholarship won’t affect amount and beneficiaries’


PTI, Aug 4, 2021, 12:02 PM IST

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday reiterated that restructuring of the minority student scholarship will not result in any reduction in the amount of scholarship and number of beneficiaries.

He also said, during the question and answer hour in the Assembly, that all those who are eligible for a scholarship under the scheme, would get it and to ensure the funds for the same, it has been decided to earmark an additional amount of Rs 6.25 crore.

”We are not hiding anything. We already made it clear there will be no reduction (in amount),” he said in response to several queries as to whether the number of existing beneficiaries would be adversely affected.

The CM further said that his government will be going for an appeal against the Kerala High Court order to ensure that minority scholarship benefit is provided equally to all the notified minorities based on their population numbers.

The state has no option but to appeal against the court order as it affects the government’s powers to take decisions on such issues.

With regard to a demand for setting up minority cells to implement measures for their welfare, the CM said a minority cell was created in 2008 which has now turned into the minorities welfare department.

The state government had decided to restructure the minority student scholarship ratio after the Kerala High Court quashed a 2015 Government Order, providing scholarships in the 80:20 ratio to Muslims and Latin Christians and Converted Christias, saying it was ”legally unsustainable.” Top IUML leaders,including Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal, P K Kunhalikutty, and KPA Majeed came out openly against the state government, alleging that the Muslim community lost an exclusive scheme formulated based on the Sachar Committee recommendation due to the government decision.

The Sachar Committee was constituted to study the backwardness of the Muslim community.

As per the census, the state has a minority population of 26.56 per cent of Muslims, 18.38 per cent ofChristians, 0.01 per cent Buddhists, 0.01 per cent Jain community and 0.01 per cent Sikh population.

The High Court had directed the Left government to pass appropriate orders, providing merit-cum-means scholarship to members of the notified minority communities within the state equally and in accordance with the latest population census available with the State Minority Commission.

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