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Kerala: Minority scholarship ratio to be changed based on 2011 Census

The Kerala Cabinet on Thursday determined to restructure distribution of merit-cum-means minority scholarships primarily between folks from Muslim and Christian communities in accordance with the 2011 Census.

So far, scholarships for the needy amongst Muslim and Christian (Latin Catholics and transformed Christians) communities have been distributed within the ratio of 80: 20.

On May 29, the Kerala High Court quashed this current ratio and ordered that scholarships be distributed equally and in accordance with the inhabitants census. The courtroom’s directive got here on a PIL filed by an activist from the Christian group.

An official communication issued after the Cabinet meet acknowledged that the ratio for fixing minority scholarships would be restructured as per the HC order. The ratio would be mounted in accordance with the inhabitants, based on the 2011 Census, “in such a manner without depriving any community” of their grants, it acknowledged.

As per 2011 Census, Kerala’s inhabitants contains 26.56 per cent Muslim, 18.38 per cent Christian and 0.33 per cent folks from different minority communities. Within the minority section, 58.67 per cent persons are Muslims and 40.6 per cent Christians. As per Thursday’s Cabinet resolution, folks from Muslim group would be entitled to 59 per cent scholarships, and people from Christian group the remaining 41 per cent.

According to the discharge, there wouldn’t be any change both within the quantity or sum of scholarships given to segments which profit from the present schemes. The scholarship schemes would require Rs 23.51 crore. Besides, there would be an extra allocation of Rs 6.2 crore, it acknowledged.

The authorities’s resolution triggered protests from Muslim organisations, with Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) normal secretary P Okay Kunhalikutty accusing the state authorities of eyeing political good points by making a fissure between Kerala’s two primary minority communities. “The decision has abolished the recommendations of Sachar Committee and benefits earmarked for Muslims,” he stated. “It would have been better had the government introduced separate schemes for other minorities. It should have considered the backwardness of Muslims.”

Welcoming the transfer, Catholic Bishops Conference of India laity council secretary V C Sebastian stated: “The government has acted upon the High Court’s verdict, which found there is discrimination in scholarship distribution. The government should end discrimination in other minority welfare schemes, especially in Centrally funded projects. There is an anti-Christian approach in several schemes.”

Kerala had launched the minority scholarship scheme in 2008, below the then LDF authorities, following suggestions of a panel headed by CPI(M) veteran Paloli Muhammed Kutty. The panel was shaped to make strategies on implementing suggestions of the Sachar Committee report.

Initially, the scholarships have been meant just for folks from Muslim group. In 2011, the then LDF authorities determined to allocate 20 per cent scholarships to folks from Latin Catholic (an OBC group in Kerala) and transformed Christians.

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