An agency appointed by the government to study educational backwardness has revealed that Muslims in India are educationally the most disadvantaged community among minority groups. In its report, the agency has made some recommendations to help empower educationally backward communities in the country. The recommendations talk about setting a three-tier model of institutions that would comprise central schools, community colleges and national institutes. The report also recommends that relevant infrastructure should be created to provide education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Altogether, it has been suggested that there should be provision to open 211 schools, 25 community colleges and 5 national institutes.
The agency has further suggested that these educational institutes can function in the same way as the Kendriya Vidyalaya or Navodaya Vidyalaya pattern. The community colleges could function based on open access model. Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the recommendations are in line with the government’s efforts to improve education among the minorities. It may be recalled that literacy rate among Muslims was 68.53 percent and enrollment rate was 74 percent, as per the 2011 Census data. This contrasts with the national average of 72.98 percent and 83 percent respectively.