UP plans educational hubs to counter Centre’s scheme for minorities

As a counter to the Centre's multi-sectoral development programme for minorities, the Akhilesh Yadav government has planned an ambitious scheme to set up an educational hub in a minority-dominated area in every district of the state. Every student studying at an institute in this educational hub will be given scholarship and also have a seat reserved for higher studies.

The MSDP scheme for the uplift of minorities is running in 21 districts of the state. Under it educational institutes like polytechnics, colleges, and hostels are constructed. The Congress highlights it as its commitment to fulfill the Sachar Committee's recommendations for uplift of Muslims.

To counter it, the Akhilesh Yadav government has planned educational hub scheme, which will be more useful for the minorities. Unlike the MSDP, which is confined to rural areas, the education hubs will cover both urban and rural areas. An educational hub will be like a mini-university campus in every district. It will include separate intermediate colleges for boys and girls, besides a polytechnic, an ITI, a paramedical institute, a management institute and other centres running job-oriented courses. The state's Minority Welfare Department will fund the scheme for initial five years, and later the institutes will be handed over to the concerned department.

In the budget for 2013-14, an initial allocation of Rs 34 crore has been made for the scheme. "It is a token amount so that the account head for the scheme is opened. Further allottment will be done as per requirement," said Abrar Ahmad, Director of Minority Welfare.

Every student studying in an inter-college at the educational hub will be given scholarship, irrespective of caste or religion. Seats will be reserved for these students in the professional institutes set up as part of the educational hub. Students from other private minority institutes in the district will also be given admission. Some seats will be reserved for madrasah pass-outs. Mostly job-oriented courses will be run at these centres so that later the students get proper placement.

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