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Sachar panel recommends Equal Opportunity Commission

The underprivileged needs to be given better opportunities, says Sachar Commission.

November 30, 2006

Constituting an Equal Opportunity Commission to look into the grievances of the deprived groups is among the recommendations that the Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee has put forward to the government. The Sachar Committee report on the social, economic and educational status of Muslims in the country that was tabled in the Lok Sabha by Minority Affairs Minister A R Antulay on Thursday. 

Reports said that controversial Committee’s report has urged the government to enunciate policies to deal with the deprivations of Muslims and which would sharply focus on inclusive development and mainstreaming of the community. 

The panel report has also found that the deprived communities lag on all socio-economic indices such as education, health, employment, credit, infrastructure and public programmes. On the condition of Muslims, the seven-member committee has found that the Muslims have had to bear the brunt of the so-called competitive forces unleashed by liberalization, despite the economic boom that has taken the country by storm. 

According to the report, India is going through a high growth phase and this was the time to help the underprivileged to utilize new opportunities through skill development and education. It added that the lack of access to critical infrastructural facilities is a matter of concern for the Muslims. 

The committee report also advocates that a group of Muslims with traditional occupations as that of SCs be designated as Most Backward Classes (MBCs) and provided sops including reservation. 

On the educational deprivation faced by Muslims, the panel notes that from lower levels of enrolment to a sharp decline in participation in higher levels of education, the situation of Indian Muslims is indeed very depressing compared to other socio-religious groups. 

It has also recommended to the University Grants Commission that it should evolve a system where part of the allocation to colleges and universities is linked to the diversity in the student population.


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