NSSO refuses separate survey for Muslim

By TwoCircles.net staff reporter

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New Delhi : The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) has turned down the request of the Ministry of Minority Affairs to conduct separate survey among Muslims in the 64th round survey being started in July this year. The main aim of the 64th round of survey is prevalence of education among different social groups.

The national Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) is an agency under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (S & PI).

Ministry of Minority Affairs had requested to conduct independent survey about the prevalence of education among Muslims in view of the revelation made by Justice Rajendra Sachar Committee.

A senior official in the S&PI Ministry argued that a major chunk of Muslims have already included in Other Backward Class (OBC) and there is no merit in such a request.

"At the same time, such an exclusive survey for any religious group would have serious political ramification. As a result the steering committee of the NSSO decided not to go for any such survey, and restrict us to the four groups OBC, SC, ST and others. All those Hindu and Muslim castes whom the Mandal Commission identified as backward castes, and are taking the advantages of quota would be included in OBCs," the official stated.

The S&PI also viewed many difficulties in conducting exclusive survey for a particular religious group. "It would have made the task quite difficult, involving extra expenses, and there could have similar demands from other religious groups. There is no end to such possibilities." he said.

The official cleared that survey on education is to find out how much the spirit of education has increased in view of the fact that the enrolment of students in academic institutions have gone up in the recent years. "The survey would bring the truth of the grass roots level," official said.

The NSSO has already finalised the norms to be followed by the field staff to conduct the next round survey, which would also assess the issue of migration along with the employment in the rural and urban areas.

According to Sachar Committee report the educational scenario among Muslims was grim, the demands poured in from different quarters to have a segregated survey to ascertain educational backwardness among them. "There is a need to guage educational backwardness among Muslims if the Government is serious for educational and economic upliftment of Muslims," a Minority Affairs Ministry official said.