Gujarat Congress wants Central govt to bypass state govt for minority scholarship schemes in Gujarat

    By special correspondent

    Ahmadabad: With the Narednra Modi government not implementing the schemes like student scholarship for minority community students sponsored by the central government, the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to use other alternatives to ensure that minority students in Gujarat are not deprived of the benefits of the central government projects for upliftment of minorities.

    In a letter sent to PM, the party has suggested the central government to implement the schemes either directly or through institutions, other than state government agencies, recognized by the central government, so that minorities don’t become victims of Modi government’s partisan attitude.

    The party has also suggested to use the services of prominent NGOs as nodal agencies for the job as one of the alternatives. The state has a strong network of NGOs operating even in interior rural areas.

    The Congress leaders want the central government to appoint a group of prominent non-political personalities to supervise the implementation of minority welfare schemes in the state.

    According to Congress leaders, if various scholarship schemes floated by the central government since 2005 were implemented, more than 57,000 Muslims students would annually have benefited. Thousands of students belonging to other minorities like Jain, Buddhist and Christian groups also did not get benefits of the schemes by the state government’s refusal to implement them.

    The state government every year returned the central funds as it did not agree to contribute its share of 25 percent to the funds. The minority scholarship schemes are contributory, with 75 percent funded by the central government and the remaining 25 per cent shared by the state government.

    The letter signed by GPCC president Arjun Modhwadia and Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil said that their party MLA Gayasuddin Sheikh had raised the issue in the just concluded budget session of the state assembly but the Modi government did not reply to his questions in the House.

    The Congress leaders also urged the PM that population criteria of the scheme for infrastructure development in private aided/unaided minority institutions be reduced to 15 percent from existing 20 per cent to enable more districts with Muslim population to get its benefits.