15 point Programme for minorities
15 point Programme for minorities is a controversial programme approved by Indian government in 2006 for welfare of religious minorities. It ran into controversies with the principal opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party charging the UPA government of communal budgeting, minority appeasment, religious discrimination and vote bank politics. The Central government has allocated 15% of plan outlays for implementation of the 15 points.
- Equitable availability of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) - Aims at development of children and pregnant/lactating mothers from minorities and those living below the Below Poverty Line (India), by providing services such as better supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check-up and free education.
- Improving access to School Education — Implement various Government schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya scheme and other similar schemes in villages/localities having a substantial minority communities population.
- Greater resources for teaching Urdu - Assistance in recruitment and posting of Urdu language teachers in primary and upper primary schools in villages/localities where at least one-fourth belong to that language group.
- Modernizing Madarsa Education — Provide basis educational infrastructure and resources for the modernization of Madarsa education.
- Scholarships for meritorious students from minority communities
- Improving educational infrastructure through the Maulana Azad Education Foundation.
- Self-Employment and Wage Employment for the poor — Earmark certain percentage of Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana scheme for minorities.
- Upgradation of skill through technical training — Open new ITIs in areas predominantly inhabited by minority communities and upgrade some ITIs to ‘Centres of Excellence’.
- Enhanced credit support for economic activities
- Recruitment to State and Central Services
- Equitable share in rural housing scheme — Earmark certain percentage in Indira Awaas Yojana for minorities.
- Improvement in condition of slums inhabited by minority communities — Implement Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme and Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission in minority populated regions.
- Prevention of communal incidents
- Prosecution for communal offences
- Rehabilitation of victims of communal riots.
Three more schemes were introduced into the 15 point programme for minorities in 2009 namely:
- National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP)
- Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT)
- Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG)
Bharatiya Janata Party led state governments have opposed the allocation of resources based on religion and called it communal budgeting and a ploy to divide the society on religious lines.
- BJP CMs deride plan to divide social fabric. Economic Times. 20 December 2007.
- PM Manmohan Singh broke Indian law by trying to woo non-Hindu voters in Gujarat?. India Daily. 9 December 2007.
- "Schemes Extended" (Press release). Archived from the original on 2015-04-12. Retrieved 2015-01-19.
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