BHOPAL: Fifteen new schemes have been rolled out for minority development in the Union Budget. Aiming at education and skill development, the ministry of minority affairs has increased funding by 62%.
“It is the largest increase in a Union Budget for minority development. It is aimed at development with dignity and empowerment without appeasement,” Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told TOI. Allocation for the Union ministry has increased from Rs 2832.46 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 4534.96 crore in the Budget .
“Education of women is the main focus. Increase in budget would help in social economic empowerment and education of Muslim women,” said Naqvi. Around 16% of Muslim women drop out of school or are not enrolled, he said. For the first time, Rs 2,453 crore has been allocated for seven new schemes for education empowerment.
It includes Rs 980 crore for pre-matric scholarship, Rs 692 crore for post-matric students and Rs 522 crore has been allocated for professional and technical courses. Rs 153 crore has been allocated for Maulana Azad National Fellowship for minority students. Free coaching and allied schemes and interest subsidy on educational loans for overseas studies has also been introduced in the Budget.
Funding for special programmes for minorities, including skill development and livelihoods has also been increased considerably.