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I do believe there should be res ervation in judiciary

 

TSI
RAJAN PRAKASH | Issue Dated: July 15, 2007
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I do believe there should be res  ervation in judiciary Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Mohammed Ali Ashraf Fatmi had threatened to resign if the government failed to implement Sachar Committee recommendations. Today, he claims that media “misquoted” him and continues to stay on. Fatmi speaks to TSI on this and other issues.

UPA government had claimed that by the year 2010, a substantial part of the population shall be literate following the “Sarvashiksha Abhiyan”. You have only three more years to go. How has been the progress?

Several states have met the target. There are certain pockets that have not given the desired results. But some states’ performance is over 100 per cent. We had set our parameter between the age group of six to 14 years and between classes 1 to 8. Nevertheless, in many of the states, we have extended the minimum as well as maximum age limit. There are several students who are either younger than six years or older than 14. We also made sure that the movement become more and more inclusive and that is why we also brought Sanskrit schools and Madarasaas into its ambit.

It has been brought to notice that the drop-out ratio is very high at Primary and Secondary level.

I admit that in spite of encouraging enrolment rate and success of Mid-day meal schemes, the drop-out rate has been an area of concern. We are stressing on the quality of the education that is being imparted. For example, improving the basic infrastructure, appointment of trained faculty and taking the help of other staffs on ad hoc basis are the focus areas.

If you plan to leave primary education entirely on the shoulders of ad-hoc ‘Shiksha Mitra’ then the dream of improving the quality of education will never materialise.

You are mistaken. If you look at the all-India figure you will find that ‘Shiksha Mitra’ do not form more than 10-15 per cent of the total appointments. To meet the target and deadline of ‘Sarvashiksha Abhiyan’, we needed large pool of teachers. To appoint ad-hoc faculty was the only way out. Nevertheless, we shall search for superior alternative very soon.

What is being done for Madarasaas?

UP which has the majority of Madarasaas in India has largely remained aloof or dormant at best. States like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have shown good results in the emancipation of Madarasaas. They are closely working with the Central Government to bring about the desired changes. In one of the most ambitious project of the Ministry regarding sex education there were topics which were embarrassing for the students of class VI and VIII. Questions such as ‘how to sport a condom?’ or ‘how to make sexual act enjoyable?’ were very embarrassing?

These are propagandas. The motive was to educate student of a certain age as to how to protect oneself from sexually transmitted diseases. The book you are referring to was circulated by National Aids Control Mission (NACO). It was not mandatory for the school to introduce them. Actually, it was not for students at all. It was for the faculty.

Your take on separate reservation for minorities?

If you go by my personal view then yes, there should be reservation for minorities in not only education but also in government and private jobs, judiciary as well as politics. The report has proved beyond doubt that a particular section of the society has lagged behind.

You once claimed that if the recommendations of Sachar Committee are not implemented, you would resign. It looks as if it was nothing more than a sudden burst of emotion?

I never said that I would resign. I was assigned with the work to find out what can be done to uplift the education level of Muslims. I was the chairman of the committee that comprised of 12 luminaries from different fields in India. We discussed on various options regarding the emancipation of minorities including implementing the recommendations of Sachar Committee. We have submitted our findings and are waiting for the result. If the government declines, we shall weigh other options as well. I stand by what I say.

The biggest hurdle that UPA faces today is the issue of reservation. The basis on which you had planned your initiative has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. It looks as if you walked on the Siberian snow.

We have already put our point. We maintain that reservation is necessary. There is consensus in Parliament on this issue. It is no more a matter of individual choice, neither is it confined to a single party. We will convince the Supreme Court in due course… …But the government has no centralised data. There are separate data for each state.

Any move can be delayed due to technical nitty-gritty but that does not mean that the issue as a whole has been put aside.

What were your grades in XII?

It was not like this in our times. I completed my Xth and went for pre-university. Then I proceeded for engineering. I did my masters in Hydro-geology.

How did you get admission in Engineering?

I cracked the entrance test.

In spite of that you ignore the issue of merit in higher studies?

I was an alumnus of AMU. That made it easier for me to get admission in engineering. We had internal reservation. I doubt I would have cleared it otherwise. Do you really believe that all these admissions in various government as well as private institutions are done on the basis of merit? Everyone should get their share of government benefits.

Then why exclude super speciality? Does not that mean you lack confidence in students who have come through reservation?

Why only space research; I believe there should be reservation in judiciary as well. But I am not the authority to implement these. Media must play a pivotal role in raising this issue. After three years in power, what are your areas of concern?

There is no major hindrance apart from usual lack of funds. We only formulate plans. The implementations of same are the concerns of state government. You will understand what I mean when you compare the results of Kendriya Vidhyalaya and Navodaya Vidhyalaya. We can only provide funds.

Why so much hue and cry over the entry of foreign universities ?

We have a law that disallows educational institutions to become commercial. We cannot give them donations. What is the motive behind the entry of foreign universities? Are they ready to introduce non-professional undergraduate courses? No, they only plan to teach medical, engineering and the likes and want to make profit. The universities that have mushroomed are worthless. They are being run in solitary buildings in most of the cases. They just want to rake moolah by stamping students with ‘Made-in-Japan’ or ‘Made-in-America’. We can show leniency in case of prestigious institutions.
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017