Najma Heptulla reviews implementation of minority welfare schemes in northern States

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Srinagar: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Dr. Najma Heptulla today chaired a high-level meeting to review the implementation of welfare schemes launched by the Union Government for the welfare of Minorities in the states and Union Territories of northern India.
Minister for Social welfare, J&K, Mr. Bali Bhagat, Minister for Forest Uttarkhand, Mr. Dinesh Aggarwal and Minister of State for Social welfare Ms. Asiea Naqash were also present in the meeting.
Addressing the meeting, the Union Minister sought cooperation from the State governments for effective implementation of schemes for ameliorating the socio-economic condition of minorities, saying that the Centre would extend every possible help for in this regard. She said that the Union Government has launched several new initiatives to empower the minorities, particularly the women and destitute to ensure their active participation in the development of the nation.
Reiterating the slogan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikas’, the Union Minister said that this can only be achieved when all sections of the society grow and prosper equally, therefore, the Union Government’s main focus is to promote skill development among the weaker sections and minorities in the country. She impressed upon the Secretaries of all the States in the northern States to adopt pro-active approach in reaping the benefits of Centrally Sponsored schemes to uplift the minorities.
Revealing details about the schemes launched for the welfare of Minorities, the Union Minister said that “Cyber Gram” programme has been launched under the scheme of “ Jan Vikas Yojana from 2014-15 in 710 Minority Concentration blocks and 66 towns of 196 districts in the country to impart digital literacy. Online scholarship management system has been made operational for online implementation of post-matric and pre-matric scholarship scheme. She said that Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of scholarship in the bank accounts of students has been operationalized in respect of post-Matric, Merit-cum-Means Scholarship and Maulana Azad National Fellowship from last year for ensuring transparency in the system. She also deliberated about the features and benefits of other initiatives including, Naya Savera, Nai Udaan, Nai Manzil, Learn and Earn (Seekho aur Kamao) , Maulana Azad National Academy for Skill (MANAS), upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development (USTTAD), Hamari Dharohar and Jiyo Parsi. She said that the Government has also launched “ Nai Roshni” scheme to empower and instill confidence among women of Minorities by providing knowledge, tools and techniques.
The Union Minister also called upon the Secretaries of these States to further streamline the functioning of Waqf Boards, digitization of records, and putting in place effective measures to develop the assets for income generation which could be utilized for the welfare of the minorities.
Dr. Heptulla called for a pro-active of officers in the States for creating greater awareness among masses by organizing special awareness camps and using other mediums like print media, electronic media to highlight the schemes for their welfare. She also stressed the need for involving elected representatives in the awareness campaign to spread the importance of such schemes at the grass root level.
Mr. Bali Bhagat highlighted the issues of the minorities in Jammu and Kashmir and demanded early nomination of three non-official members, i.e Members Parliament in the State Level Empowered Committee for 15- point programme; release of 2nd installment for construction of ITI, Polytechnic College Leh along with machinery equipment sanctioned under 11th five year plan; release of balance amount of projects approved under MSDP during 12th five year plan whose Utilization Certificates (UCs) have already been submitted; release of balance amount for pre-matric scholarship; extension of last date for one month for online submission of application forms under Minority Scholarship Scheme as majority of students failed to submit their online application forms due to poor internet connectivity and reconsidering students of Degree College Dooru for scholarship as they had not submitted the hard copies well in time. He said that this meeting will prove quite useful in effective implementation of all Centrally Sponsored Schemes meant for minorities as several bottlenecks have been cleared on the spot.
The participants discussed issues confronted in their respective States and shared experiences about the implementation of schemes meant for minorities. They suggested several useful measures to bring improvements in their effective implementation of schemes.
Union Secretary Ministry of Minority affairs, Dr. Arvind Mayaram, Secretary Social Welfare, J&K, Mr. Sanjeev Verma and Secretaries/Directors Minority Affairs of Haryana, Uttarkhand, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Chandigarh attended the meeting.

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