Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that an international educational institution for minorities will be built in Rajasthan's Alwar city as part of the Centre's ambitious plan to set up five such institutes across the country. The plan for building these institutes was initially prepared in 2016 and an 11-member committee was formed under former bureaucrat Afzal Amanullah to oversee it, Naqvi said. The committee submitted its report to the Minority Affairs Ministry and after March 2017 the work on this ambitious project started, he said.
"For setting up a world-class educational institution for minorities, 100 acres of land has been allotted for an institute in Alwar, Rajasthan," said Naqvi. The government is mulling to proffer 40 per cent reservation for girls at these institutes, he said. According to information received from the ministry, work is underway in Greater Noida to create a "skill development hub" for minorities. Meanwhile, the ministry is also going to open more than 100 schools on the lines of Navodaya Vidyalaya for the students belonging to minority communities, Naqvi said.
"By the end of this year, 32 of these schools will be functional. Special attention will be given to girls," the minority affairs minister said. "In this context, a high-level committee constituted on January 10, 2017, submitted its report on the structure of these educational institutions," he said. Naqvi said that it is a matter of concern that literacy rate among minorities, especially Muslims, is much below than the national average rate. The central government is running a strong campaign of educational empowerment to overcome this, he said. The school drop-out rate among Muslim girls, which is more than 72 percent, is a matter of concern for the government, Naqvi said. Keeping this in mind, the ministry will be focusing on educational empowerment of minorities, especially girls," he added.