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The Rajinder Sachar Committee, appointed in 2005 by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was commissioned to prepare a report on the latest social, economic and educational conditions of the Muslim community of India. The committee was headed by former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Rajinder Sachar, as well as six other members. The committee prepared a report of 403 pages, and presented in the lower house (Lok Sabha) of the Indian Parliament on 30 November 2006 (20 months after obtaining the terms of reference from the PMO).
The committee had highlighted and presented its suggestions and solutions to remove impediments preventing Indian Muslims from their right to complete participation in the economic, political and social mainstream of Indian life. The report is the first of its kind to reveal the "backwardness" (a term used in Indian academic and legal discourse for historically dispossessed or economically vulnerable communities, not meant to be pejorative) of Indian Muslims. According to the Sachar Committee report, some of the major concerns are:
- The status of Indian Muslims are below the conditions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- The overall percentage of Muslims in bureaucracy in India is just 2.5% whereas Muslims constitute above 14% of the population of India.
To ensure equity and equality of opportunities to Indian Muslims in the residential, work and educational sectors, the Committee proposed multiple suggestions to be implemented, with suitable mechanisms.
There were many issues of discussion and debate raised by the Sachar Committee Report that persist. There are follow-up actions taken based on Committee findings, such as then-Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's action funding for the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC).
Last year, I made a modest contribution of Rs.16.47 crore to the equity of the NMDFC. Following the Sachar Committee report (on the status of minorities), NMDFC would be required to expand its reach and intensify its efforts. Hence, I propose to provide a further sum of ₹ 63 crore to the share capital of NMDFC.[dead link]
- Sayyid Hamid
- Dr. T.K. Oomen
- M.A. Basith
- Dr. Akhtar Majeed
- Dr. Abu Saleh Shariff
- Dr. Rakesh Basant
- Dr. Mohammad Alamgir Ansari
- Dr. Syed Zafar Mahmood
Dr. Syed Zafar Mahmood was the civil servant appointed by the PM as Officer on Special Duty to the Committee. During the committee's interaction with women's groups, some of them articulated a serious grievance that the commission did not have a single woman member.
The complete Sachar committee report is available for download online.
- The Rajindar Sachar Committee in its recommendations in 2005 sought the setting up of an Equal Opportunity Commission to provide a legal mechanism to address complaints related to discrimination in matters such as housing.
The Census 2001 data has been used to understand the demographic profile, infrastructure availability and educational achievements at various levels. Data from the National Sample Surveys (NSSO 55th and 61st Rounds) have been used to analyze issues relating to employment, education, consumption patterns and levels of poverty. Banking data was received from different sources such as the Reserve Bank of India, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Small Industries Development Bank of India, National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation and the National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation. Corroborative data was also obtained from government commissions and organisations such as the National Commission for Backward Classes, the State Backward Classes Commission and the National Council of Educational Research and Training. Finally, data from sources such as ministries, departments, public sector undertakings, universities and colleges were used in preparing this report.
Indian media expert[dead link] Dasu Krishnamoorti has criticized the way the media has handled the report. He criticizes them saying that "Positive journalism means projecting the Muslims as us and not them".[dead link] Sunil Jain in an article in rediff says "The problem with all such data, however, is that you need to "normalise" it for any meaningful conclusions to be made. Sachar does this only partially", and that rather than basing its results on the entire population of Muslims, the Report should only have considered those Muslims with a college degree.
In addition, the demands made by the Sachar Committee to provide preferential treatment to Muslims in the Indian Army to bring about a greater representation have been severely criticized by members of the Indian Armed Forces as well as BJP political party. Retired Colonel Anil Athale of the Indian Army comments that it is vital that the Indian Armed forces remain secular and not give preference to anybody irrespective of religion, and that the Sachar Committee seeks to undermine that legacy. However, Dr. Sachar replied to this criticism saying that it was an uncalled for attempt to communalise a non-issue.
There was widespread disagreement over the methodology and conclusions of the Sachar Committee. A K Dubey of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, said that the “Sachar Committee has indulged in a statistical manipulation that needs to be understood. The approach it adopted to bring to light social and political truths were muddled” 
In November 2013, the Gujarat government contended before the Supreme Court that the Rajinder Sachar Committee was "unconstitutional", and that its "target was to help Muslims only". It has strongly criticized the manner in which the PMO set up the Sachar panel in 2005 to survey the socio-economic conditions of Muslims, while "ignoring" other religious minorities. The affidavit was filed in response to the Centre's stand that the scheme was valid and that the Modi government was to blame for the "deteriorating condition" of Muslims in Gujarat. 
- Times News Network (23 December 2009). "Padmanabhaiah, Sachar, Mamata favorites for governor". Times of India. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- Times News Network (3 April 2003). "PUCL urges Supreme Court to quash Pota". Times of India. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- Press Trust of India (2 October 2009). "Innocent people victimised during terror probes: Activists". Times of India. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- KHAITAN, TARUNABH (10 May 2008). "Dealing with discrimination". Frontline. The Hindu Group. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- Express news service (27 April 2008). "‘Sachar Committee report is unconstitutional’". Indian Express. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
- Clarification On the Work of Justice Rajindar Sachar Committee
- "US feels India has 180m Muslims". The Times Of India. 4 September 2011.
- B. N. Gururaj Impressive analysis, Letter to editor, The Hindu, 7 January 2007.
- "National Seminar On Sachar Committee Report in Hyderabad". Flickr - Photo Sharing!.
- More funds for minorities' welfare
- "Welcome to Dasu Krishnamoorthy Media Site". dasukrishnamoorty.com.
- Media Response to Sachar Report, Dasu Krishnamoorthy
- Sachar Report, Myth and reality, Rediff, 11 December 2006.
- Report shows Sachar findings manipulated: BJP Times of India - 31 March 2007
- Dainik Bhaskar, Delhi, 16 July 2009, quoted in Rakesh Sinha, Discrimination or Equal Opportunity – 1, Vijayvani.com, 5 October 2009.
- "Gujarat to Supreme Court: Sachar panel illegal, only to help Muslims". Indian Express. 28 November 2013.
- "Sachar Committee — Conspiracy to Divide the Nation?" by Rakesh Sinha, Publisher:Bharateeya Vichar Manch, Ahmedabad
- "Sachar Committee Report". Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India.
- Muslim deprivation widespread: Sachar Committee 
- Appeal to Sachar Committee