Justice Sachar committee says Indian Muslims "lag behind" other communities

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Friday, November 17, 2006

The Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee report states that Indian Muslims are "lagging behind" other religious communities and need to be provided more "equal opportunities". The report, however, remains silent on the issue of reservations for Muslims in the workplace and educational institutions.

The report went on to say that the community is relatively poorer, more illiterate, has lower access to education, lower representation in public and private sector jobs and lower availability of bank credit for self-employment. In urban areas, the report said that Muslims mostly lives in slums characterised by poor municipal infrastructure.

The committee says that the community is "only slightly better off than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and worse off than Other Backward Classes (OBCs), and in some cases, behind Dalits."

The report suggests educational reforms in madrassas, and the allocation of 15% of all government funds to Muslims.

Justice Sachar, who led the seven-member team, submitted his report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who praised the comprehensive nature of the study and indicated that it would be tabled in the next session of Parliament.