By Dr. Shabistan Gaffar
New Delhi: The All India Confederation for Women’s Empowerment Through Education (AICWETE) New Delhi in collaboration with National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Govt. of India organised a “National Programme on Role of NCMEI in Strengthening the Minority Educational Profile in India” on 9th May, 2014 at the Conference Hall, India Islamic Cultural Centre, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi.
The programme witnessed an elite crowd of around hundred people. Prominent dignitaries who graced the occasion included Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui, Chairman, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Govt. of India; Qamar Ahmed, Chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission; Abraham M. Pattiyani, Member, Delhi Minorities Commission; Dr. Sanyam Bhardwaj, Director, Minority Cell & Student Support Services, NIOS, Govt. of India; Dr. Anita Nuna, Faculty & Programme Coordinator, Department of Women’s Studies, NCERT; P.A. Inamdar President of M.C.E. Society, Azam Campus, Pune; Ravi Gupta, CEO, Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd & DIGITAL LEARNING Magazine; Dr. Fakhrudhin Mohammed, Secretary, MESCO, Hyderabad and Liyaqat Ali, Zonal Coordinator, NCMEI, Meerut, U.P..
The programme started with the welcome address by Dr. Fakhrudhin Mohammed, Secretary, MESCO, Hyderabad & Coordinator, NCMEI. He welcomed all the eminent guests and persons who have come from different areas to make the programme a grand success.
Dr. Shabistan Gaffar, President of All India Confederation for Women’s Empowerment Through Education & National Coordinator, Chairperson, Committee on Girls’ Education, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Govt. of India, in her address highlighted the theme of the programme. In her addressed she stressed that National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions came into existence in the year 2004 and since its inception till 31.03.2014 around 10000 institutions from Madrasas to University level have been declared as Minority Educational Institutions under the section 2(g) of the NCMEI Act. Achievements made by the NCMEI in strengthening the minority educational profile in India. She also highlighted about the book on “Role of NCMEI in Strengthening the Minority Educational Profile in India” which was released in the function.
Naseem Ahmed, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities. was invited as the Chief Guest, but could not attend the programme due to urgent official engagements.
Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui, Chairman, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Govt. of India, delivered his address. He congratulated Dr. Shabistan Gaffar for arranging such a wonderful programme with the noble cause of empowering minorities through education. He highlighted that the National Commission for Minority Educational Institution under his leadership has done many programmes for the welfare of the minorities in India and has solved many educational problems facing by the minority educational institutions in India such as, NOC for starting Medical, Engineering, Nursing and other Colleges and NOC for CBSE affiliation; recognition to many educational institutions, grievances facing in relation to recognition, affiliation, appointment of teachers, reservation policy, medium of instructions etc.
He stressed that Education is the only way to change the Nation and the Honorary Coordinators appointed by the Commission at District, State, Zonal and National level have done marvellous service in addressing the educational problems facing by the minorities and creating awareness about the powers and functions of NCMEI and the opportunities available to the minorities under the Constitution of India. He said that West Bengal is one of the most backward States in India and the educational profile of Muslim community is very worst as compared to other States and considering the educational backwardness Hon’ble Siddiqui urged its coordinators to establish educational institutions, which is the only way to improve the educational profile of minorities. As result of it under the leadership and earnest effort of the Honorary Coordinator of West Bengal Shaikh Mohammed Zaki more than 200 primary institutions have been established by the likeminded people for providing education to the poor Muslim students.
Stressing about the importance of technical and skill development among minorities, Justice Siddiqui said that the Muslim community does not lack skill, where as they has enough talent compared to other communities and the need of the hour is to channelize these talents. Minority educational institutions can play a vital role in empowering the minorities.
He also highlighted about the Right to Education Act and the recent judgment of the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court exempting both aided and unaided institutions from the purview of RTE Act. Urging the minority educational institutions to make use of their rights, Justice M S A Siddiqui, stated aggressive minoritism as harmful and said it should be shunned.
Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui and other distinguished guests released the book on “Role of NCMEI in Strengthening the Minority Educational Profile in India” prepared by Dr. Shabistan Gaffar, President, All India Confederation for Women’s Empowerment Through Education. Dr. Shabistan Gaffar made a short introduction about the substance of the book. The book has highlighted the following relevant topics:-
• Landmark Judgments Relating to Minority Educational Insinuations
• Issues of Minority Educational Institutions solved by the NCMEI
• Major Highlights of The Commission
• Orientation Programme to Minority Managed Elementary/Secondary/Higher Secondary and Higher Educational Institutions
• Empowerment of Minority Educational Institutions through National Institute of Open Schooling
• Educational rehabilitation of strife affected students of Assam through NCMEI
• Recommendation of Chairman, NCMEI on Educational Opportunities for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir
• Recommendation of Chairman, NCMEI on Rehabilitation of victims of violence affected people in Muzaffarnagar
• Honorary Coordinators of NCMEI
• Activities conducted by the Hon. Coordinators of NCMEI & Educational Problems Facing By Different Organizations
• Recommendation and Suggestions
Indian Institute of Women Studies Launched
The programme also witnessed the launching of Indian Institute of Women Studies (IIWS) – an initiative of All India Confederation for Women’s Empowerment Through Education for highlighting the issues and achievements of women in India, particularly Muslim women. Stating about the objective of IIWS Dr. Gaffar highlighted that the Muslim women in India are not behind anybody in the matter of skill and ability. She said that Muslim women have achieved many milestones such as the first women, who have won the programme “KON BANEGA KARORE PATI” is a Muslim women. She stressed about the different schools of studies under the institute such as:- School of Women Rights and Law; Women and Media; Women and Rural Development; Girls Education; Training and Continuing Education; Women and Islam; Women and health; Peace and Communal Harmony; Women and Management; Women and Science and Technology; Population Education; Women and Skill Development; Women and Cultural Studies; Women and Advanced studies; Women and Gender Equity .
Dr. Sanyam Bhardwaj, Director, Minority Cell & Student Support Services, NIOS, Govt. of India said that the NCMEI has played a vital role in empowering minorities. He also stressed about the MOU signed between NIOS and NCMEI for curtailing the dropout and increasing the accreditation of minority institutions as Centres of NIOS. He said that more than thousands of institutions have accredited with the NIOS for various programmes and with the suggestion of NCMEI, the NIOS has waived off the accreditation fee of Rs.5000/- to OBE and SPQEM vocational courses to institutions, which are declared as minority educational institution by the NCMEI.
Dr. Anita Nuna, Faculty & Programme Coordinator, Department of Women’s Studies, NCERT highlighted the importance of minority women’s education. In today’s fast changing society, the Rights of women are at stake and their position has become vulnerable. The balance between Womens’ Rights and its protection and her family and social responsibilities is totally disturbed. Women have a role to play in society, family and country. They have to fulfill their responsibilities as daughters, sisters, mothers, wife, daughter-in-laws and as citizens of the country. If we talk about overall empowerment of women in India since independence, successive governments have tried to introduce measures to empower women. Yet, the expected measure of success has not occurred due to reasons like bureaucratic delays, political compulsions, social and cultural constraints and the continuing poverty of the masses. Obtaining some measures of economic self sufficiency and independence is prerequisite to any advancement of women at social, cultural and political level. She also said that the government must ensure implementation of any scheme when it launches. She cited the example of ‘Area Intensive Scheme” for promoting education among minorities which was launched in 1993 but not a single school was opened in minority areas under the scheme. The scheme was then merged in SPQEM but it is not solution for minority educational backwardness, adding that the expected measure of success has not occurred due to reasons like bureaucratic delays, political compulsions, social and cultural constraints.
Ravi Gupta, CEO, Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd & DIGITAL LEARNING Magazine stated about the World Education Summit 2014 conducting by his Company. He made a video presentation about the World Education Summit conducted in previous years also. He also explained about the monthly magazine namely Digital Learning producing by his office to open new ways of modern learning system. He also highlighted that his Company along with the All India Confederation for Women’s Empowerment Through Education and National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Govt. of India are holding the World Education Summit 2014 at New Delhi on 8th and 9th August, 2014 and a Minority Session has been reserved in the Summit to discuss about the Special Issues from primary. Secondary and higher education level. During the function an information booklet about the World Education Summit 2014 was also released by the distinguished guests.
Adv. Abraham M. Pattiyani, Member, Delhi Minorities Commission, highlighted that the NCMEI under the leadership of Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui has done yeomen service in protecting the educational rights of Minorities in India. He has stated about the benefits availed by the Christian community in India, particularly in Kerala from the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions. He urged that there is a prime need of generating awareness among the Muslim minority community in availing benefits under NCMEI and Constitution of India. He also appreciated the bold decisions of Hon’ble Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui in major issues like NOC to Medical and Engineering colleges, CBSE and recognitions etc.
P.A. Inamdar President of M.C.E. Society, Azam Campus, Pune, a renowned educationalist highlighted that one of the great initiative of the present UPA Govt. to empower and strengthen the minorities is the enactment of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act and appointment of Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui as its Chairman. He also appreciated the initiative of Dr. Shabistan Gaffar in bringing out such an informative book, highlighting all major issues and rights of minorities.
The programme ended with vote of thanks by Liyaqat Ali, Hony. Coordinator, NCMEI, Meerut and president of the Association of Minority Educational Institutions in Uttar Pradesh. He thanked all the distinguished guests and participants, who have come from across the country. At the end of the programme Liyaqat Ali stated that the contribution of Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui will be remembered in the history always and his organisation has decided to award Justice Siddiqui a great award “Sitare Hind” in recognition to his contribution for empowering the minorities in India through education.
[Dr. Shabistan Gaffar is Chairperson, Committee on Girls Education,National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions,Government of India. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]