Riyaz ul Khaliq
Srinagar: The government has sought a detailed report from the education department and the deputy commissioners about the unspent Rs 4.5 crore meant for Jammu and Kashmir’s minority institutions.
Kashmir Reader has learnt that Commissioner Secretary, Higher Education, Asgar Samoon, who is overseeing the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) initiative here, asked the officials why funds allocated to the project have not been utilised so far.
“Where is the money? Why has it not been spent (over the years)?” Samoon is reported to have asked during a meeting on Thursday while telling the concerned officials to file status reports about the project within the “shortest possible time”.
The development followed the rejection of a fresh proposal seeking funding for 78 madrassas under the Government of India’s Scheme Providing Quality Education for Minorities and its Infrastructure Development for Minority Institutions. The MHRD had asked the state government to return the unspent funds released in 2010-2011. At least five representatives of some madrassas also participated in the meeting.
In the status reports due to be submitted, the officials have been told to mention the criteria adopted for releasing funds to institutions. During the meeting, the representatives were directed to “chalk out formal syllabus” to be used in madrassas. “This will help those who graduate from these madrassas to apply for various jobs (in the government sector),” an official said.
The official said that officials were asked to start registration of non-formal schools on the pattern of private schools as ‘madrassa-cum-private school’.
A madrassa representative told Kashmir Reader that the institutions face many issues while seeking minority quota funding.
“We have to fulfil some criteria before seeking funds from minority quota, but the state government has not done anything on that front,” he said, speaking under condition of anonymity.
The basic criterion for the grants is registration from the government, the Wakf Board or the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
“J&K Wakf Board does not give us any registration nor have we been able to get this from the NIOS,” the madrassa representative said, “The state government can easily amend the state School Education Act and add a clause for us as well.”
He claimed that the 78 proposals the MHRD turned down had been rejected “because they did not possess the qualification” which would have ensured them funding.