Minority Cell

The Minority Cell was, created in 2006 to look after problems of minority communities. The cell plays an important and vital role for implementation of NPE 1986, and Programme of Action (POA) 1992. It is making efforts to bring out of school Muslim children within the fold of education through alternative schooling by accreditation of Maktabs and Madarsa. Minority Cell therefore has become a major instrument of Policy Intervention for Government of India for improving educational access for Muslim Minorities at school level in the light of the recommendations of Sachchar Committee and Prime Minister - 15 Point Programme.

The Minority Cell of NIOS grants accreditation on relaxed norms especially developed for Minority Institutions. This has helped to link traditional educational institutions of Muslims like Madarsas, Maktabs and Darul-Ul-Uloom into mainstream education. The Minority cell conducts Advocacy programmes for grant of accreditation and for minority education

Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madarsas (SPQEM)

National policy on Education (NPE) has adopted the concept of national system of education, implying that up to a certain level all students irrespective of caste, creed, language or sex have education of comparable quality. The national policy on education commits itself to provide all possible means for the uplift of the educationally backwards minorities. In order to provide them with access to education in modern subjects, the central Government has been implementing the Area intensive and Madarsa Modernisation Scheme. The National Monitoring Committee for Minorities Education (NMCME) was constituted in 2004 to look into all aspects of education of minorities. The Expert Committee has suggested that madarssas be provided a linkage with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to provide for certification of academic levels, linkage with vocational education, improving the quality of education in modern subjects.

The objective of the scheme is to encourage traditional institutes like Madarsas and Maktabs to introduce Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, Hindi and English in their curriculum (by giving financial assistance). However, the process of modernization of traditional madarsas and maktabs will be voluntary. Maktabs/Madarsas/Dar-ul-ulooms can opt to become accredited study centers with the National Institute of Open Schooling for offering Senior Secondary level programmes as well. The scheme also will seek to provide opportunities for vocational training for children studying in madrssas opting to enter the job market and encourage entrepreneurship.The SPQEM is a demand driven scheme. The scheme will endeavour to cover a total of 4,500 - 6,000 Madrassas and provide honorarium to about 13,500 -18000 teachers in Madrassas all over the country during the 11th plan period.

For appointment of teachers for teaching Science, Mathematics, Social Studies , languages , Computer Application and Science , each full time graduate teacher will be paid salary for 12 months @ Rs 6000/-p.m. . For strengthening the libraries / book banks at primary / middle/ secondary and senior secondary levels one time assistance upto Rs.50, 000/-followed by an annual grant of Rs.5,000/- will be provided to each madrassa. For purchase of Science kits, Maths, a grant up to a maximum amount of Rs.15000/- will be provided. Financial assistance for establishment of science /computer labs in Madrasas at the Secondary/Sr. Secondary levels a maximum of Rs.10,000 will be provided. Financial assistance will be provided to meet registration fees, examination fees and cost of study materials supplied by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) up to 100% for each student opting to study through NIOS at Secondary and Senior Secondary levels. Madrassas can also opt for vocational courses offered by NIOS after fulfilling norms & standard set by NIOS.

Madarssas which have been in existence at least for three years and registered under central or state government acts or Madarssa Board or with Wakf Boards or NIOS shall be eligible to apply for assistance under this programme. All madarssas opting to be covered by distance education mode and availing of government grant will need to be accredited with the NIOS. Madarssas applying for financial assistance under the scheme to the state Government would have to provide documentary evidence of their affiliation /accreditation to the State Madarssa Boards/NIOS. The madarssas would for this purpose send an application for accreditation/affiliation to NIOS. The Central Government will provide 100% funding for the scheme during the 11th plan. The financial assistance will be given yearly under the scheme through state governments/union territory administration in whose jurisdiction the intuition is situated.

The scheme will be implemented by the State Governments. All request for financial assistance shall, as a rule, be entertained by the State Government in the prescribed Application Form.

Project HUNAR for Muslim Girls in Bihar

NIOS started Project Hunar for Muslim girls in Bihar in collaboration with Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC) to impart skill training to Muslim girls in seven vocational courses from 2008-09 session. A total of 13768 Muslim girls have been imparted skill training in courses like Gram Sakhi, Cutting, Tailoring and Dress Making, Basic Rural Technology, Jute Production, Bakery and Confectionery, Beauty Culture and Early Childhood Care and Education. For phase I, a tripartite MOU has been signed with three Nodal Agencies to collaborate and co-operate with NIOS in identifying and recommending institutions which could be granted accreditations by NIOS for running the project. Out of 13768 girls, 11347 girls passed the examination and got certificate in respective trades. It is interesting to mention that not even one learner, dropped out of this programme.

Project HUNAR Phase II

Seeing the success of this project, government of Bihar offered NIOS to make it continuous for phase II and a target of 50,000 more girls of Muslim, SCs, STs and Most Backward Community were targeted for the session 2010-11. About 45,298 students enrolled and 12,252 appeared in the examination held on 23rd and 24th July 2011. Apart from 298 accredited institutions under Hunar phase I, 723 new OBH study centres have been accredited for running this programme. These 723 OBH study centres are Model cluster schools, institutions and NGOs as recommend by the BEPC.

Project HUNAR Delhi

NIOS launched Hunar Programme in Delhi. Honorable Minister of Human Resource Development, Sh. Kapil Sibal and Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit besides other dignitaries inaugurated the launch of this programme at a function held on 26th February, 2011 at Delhi. Around 16 agencies have been accredited under this programme to enroll and provide skill training to the girls free of cost. Around 1600 girls have been enrolled in these agencies. Out of which 600 learners appeared in the examination and 267 were declared certified.

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