Sunday, March 30, 2008

Muslim Girls: Moving Ahead with Time

Muslim Girls: Torch-bearers of a 'Silent Revolution'

Muslims girls have once again proved that they are the torch-bearers of a ‘silent revolution’ sweeping through the Muslim community. They have conquered yet another educational battlefield. In what is being billed as a ‘major surprise’ for policymakers, Muslim girls have bagged more than 30% in merit-cum-means scholarship scheme announced by Ministry of Minority Affairs in the wake of Sachar Committee which submitted its report in November 2006.

The scheme was initiated in June 2007. Under the scheme, 20,000 “poor and meritorious” students belonging to minority communities (Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis and Buddhists) would be offered scholarships on population-wise representation.
1084 scholarships were reserved for Muslims of Maharashtra. Out of which 30% seats (325) were specifically earmarked for the Muslim girls. In the beginning, government officials were skeptical whether Muslims girls would come forward to fill in the 30% seats. To answer their skepticism, they even inserted a clause that in case of non-availability of eligible female students, government could transfer the scholarships to male students!

Muslim girls proved that the babus’ skepticism was indeed wrong. 338 girls have been sanctioned scholarships although government figure for girls was 325! The rest of 746 seats have gone to boys although government figure for boys was 759!
“We had our reasons to put in the transition clause but were puzzled by the Muslim girls’ response,” a senior Mantrayla official said. “Muslims girls have gone beyond our expectations,” he said.

As per the available data, most Muslim girls have sought scholarships to pursue professional courses including medicine and engineering while Muslim boys have opted for technical education.
Going by the figures, more Muslim girls will become doctors and engineers five years from now.

If one goes through the list of the eligible candidates, it becomes abundantly clear that Muslims from all over Maharashtra have benefited from this scheme.
Leading journalist and author, M.J. Akbar was ecstatic on this positive development.
“It is a sign of the times to come,” he said.

“Our Ummah is in twilight zone where the sun has set and we are waiting for a sunrise,” he elaborated.

“The real issue facing Indian Muslims is education. This is the real challenge: we must make every girl child, and particularly the Muslim girl child, into an educated one. Gender equality is a principle of Islam; I want to see it shine in practice,” Akbar said.
“It is a good sign of awareness among Muslims especially Muslim girls,” Uzma Nahid of Iqra Foudation said.

“Our poor and downtrodden girls have performed better than other minorities. It is a big achievement and my heart goes for their parents who have worked hard to make this happen,” she said.

The amount of scholarship awarded is from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 30,000.

Selection procedure for the scholarship is purely based on merit. Students who have got admission to technical or professional courses on the basis of an entrance test will be eligible for this scholarship scheme. Scholarship would continue on successful completion of the course in the preceding year.

The scheme is only open to economically weaker students whose parents’ annual income does not exceed 2.5 lakh.

The scholarship has been divided into two different heads viz. 1) Maintenance assistance that will be directly credited to the student’s account. 2) Course fee will be paid by the state government directly to the concerned institute. The applications for scholarship will be submitted through concerned institutions. State government will scrutinize it and forward it to the Ministry of Minority Affairs which will finalize the list of eligible candidates.


Anonymous said...

The posts are simply superb!
Really liked the way you pen stuff,though the number of posts (heavily) portraying a journo within, outnumber the ones reflecting 'your own' thoughts or rather takes on life.Loved 'em all.

Please,do keep more and more such coming.

Anonymous said...


Well,thanks for those words.
Hearing from your side of the planet 's been a pleasure too.

BTW,it was while Googling KAUST for Masters that I stumbled upon your web-space ..

Shiva said...

nice blog...
looks like u r a part time journalist, lawyer and blogger :)

plz checkout my blogs

sonali said...

nice that you have thrown light on the education revolution brought about in the Muslim community in terms of girl education...infact i was working on a story about Muslims bringing a change in the overall educational scenario in Kerala...the ulema's imparting education and that too bridging the religious gap in the state...the best part was that Ulemas have set up several institutions where students from all sections of society are part of the a gud piece...