Government mulling constitutional status to minorities panel

June 11th, 2009 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) Minister of State for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid Thursday said the government was considering giving constitutional status to the National Minorities Commission and would decide on reservation for Muslims after studying the Andhra Pradesh and Kerala models.
“We want to give the minorities commission a constitutional status and will try our best for that,” Khurshid told reporters after a meeting with the commission members.

Asked about reservation for Muslims, Khurshid said: “We keep on getting such demands. We will see it within the constitutional framework.

“We are studying the models of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. And we might adopt it,” he added.

In Andhra Pradesh there is four percent reservation for Muslims who are recognised among the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, while in Kerala, the quota is 12 percent across the board.

On providing scholarships to Muslim students, the minister said the Sachar Committee appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 to study the socio-economic condition of Muslims in India had spoken about affirmative action and the government was working on it.

He refused to comment on granting minority status to the Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia University. He only said: “The matter is sub judice.”

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