Nalanda A Faculty Development Program for Minorities’ Higher Educational Institutions
Maulana Azad Sehat Scheme for Student of the Schools Financially Aided by MAEF
|The Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Shri K. Rahman Khan launching the pilot project of the Nalanda Scheme, a faculty assistance programme Courtesy: Photo Division|
Shri K Rahman Khan , the union Minister of Minority Affairs launched two new initiatives here today for the welfare of Minorities. The twin initiatives are Maulana Azad Sehat Scheme, and Nalanda Project, a Faculty Development Program for Minorities’ Higher Educational Institutions.
The Minister aso handed over Sehat Cards to few students. Speaking on the occasion Shri K Rahman Khan saidUnder the Maulana Azad Sehat scheme, “Sehat Card” would be issued to every student of the Institution financially aided by MAEF. Preventive Health Check-up Camps would be organized by the Institute twice in a year, through Government/Private Hospitals/Nursing Homes.
In exceptional and deserving cases for serious ailments, the poor students belonging to notified minorities would be provided financial assistance for treatment in Government/Recognized Hospitals. Serious ailments of Kidney, Heart, Liver, Cancer and Brain or any other life threatening diseases including Knee surgery and Spinal surgery would be covered.
The Minister said that “Nalanda Project” is an innovative Faculty Development Program of Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, under its Information, Education and Communication (IEC) strategy for awareness, orientation and development of faculties of Minority Universities/ Minority Managed Degree Colleges (MMDCs) and higher educational institutions located in minority concentration areas in the country.
Excerpts from the Minister’s speech
“The Ministry of Minority Affairs was created on 29th January 2006 with a mission to ensure a focused approach towards issues relating to the minorities and to facilitate the formulation of overall policy, planning and development programmes for the benefit of the minority communities.
“Ministry aims for inclusive growth of notified minorities namely, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains. It adopted a multi-pronged strategy for development of minority communities with focus on educational empowerment; area development; economic empowerment; women empowerment; development of vulnerable minority communities and strengthening of minority institutions.
“Adding to these efforts, I am very happy to inform that Ministry has now taken a new dimension to ensure good health of minorities.Finance Minister had announced in his budget speechof 2013-14 that medical facilities would be provided to the institutions financed by Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Minority Affairs.Accordingly, Ministry has launched “Maulana Azad Sehat Scheme” today.
“Under this scheme, “Sehat Card” would be issued to every student of the Institution financially aided by MAEF. Preventive Health Check-up Camps would be organized by the Institute twice in a year, through Government/Private Hospitals/Nursing Homes.All findings of the Preventive Health Checkups will be entered in the Sehat Card of the student by the Doctors.
“A Dispensary/Health Care Centre is to be set up in the educational institutions (School) to provide daily medical facilities to the students studying in the educational institutions funded/aided by MAEF.
“In exceptional and deserving casesfor serious ailments, the poor students belonging to notified minorities wouldbe provided financial assistance for treatment in Government/Recognized Hospitals. Serious ailments of Kidney, Heart, Liver, Cancer and Brain or any other life threatening diseases including Knee surgery and Spinal surgery would be covered.
“Further, as you all may be aware that in conformity with the recommendations of Sachar Committee, the Ministry of Minority Affairs gives highest importance to the education of minorities. Ministry is already engaged in supporting the education of students belonging to minority communities through scholarships at all levels.
“Higher education is an instrument of upward mobility through promotion of excellence at individual, institutional and national level. Excellence of work force is a pre-requisite for sustained growth of any nation and for humankind, excellence is a must for extending the frontiers of knowledge and cultivation of values.
“Ministry of Minority Affairs is of firm conviction that to strengthen the efforts for educational development of minorities, it is also essential to organize orientations programs for teachers from time to time in addition to support to students. Though agencies like NCERT, NEUPA etc. are involved in such teachers training and development programs, yet Ministry considers that in case of minorities, more efforts are required to develop faculty of higher education institutions.
“We are of the view that for improving the overall quality of higher education, there has to be generous support for individuals and institutions working at the undergraduate level besides support for attempts to redefine relevant knowledge in keeping with our local contexts and sensitivities.
“In this direction, “Nalanda Project”is an innovative Faculty Development Program of Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, under its Information, Education and Communication (IEC) strategy for awareness, orientation and development of faculties of Minority Universities/ Minority Managed Degree Colleges (MMDCs) and higher educational institutions located in minority concentration areas in the country.
“Today, I feel privileged to inform that the Nalanda Project is being taken up at Aligarh Muslim University, a premier Minority University of world fame, which is also a Nodal Staff College of University Grant Commission. The support given by Aligarh Muslim University in developing this program will go a long way in improvement of higher education among minorities.
“Faculty development is an essential element of institutional effectiveness in higher education. It has become a priority at many academic institutions as a way to improve the quality of academic programs and to respond to emerging faculty, student, program, and industry needs. The extent to which the University/College supports faculty development will be strongly reflected in levels of student engagement and motivation, and thus ultimately, student learning.
“The need for faculty development programs in higher education is immense for several reasons viz. increases in the complexity of higher education; demands from internal and external Constituencies and the necessity to balance teaching, scholarship, service, and personal responsibilities.
“The primary goal of faculty development is to help faculty learn new ways to achieve excellence and to grow as faculty members. It is an ongoing process of understanding, learning, and growth. Faculty development includes education, collaboration, resources and support.
“In addition to faculty and instructional development, faculty development concerns itself with culture change. Through educational programs and workshops faculty can learn the skills necessary to reach excellence in a changing academic environment.
“Today’s learners expect and, in many cases, demand that their instructors infuse their teaching with the kinds of digital technologies with which they have grown up and are accustomed.
“Faculty who engage in professional development experiences benefit also in terms of increased vitality, informed pedagogy, teaching innovations, and scholarly teaching.
“Moreover, faculty professional development will contribute to the effective use of emerging technologies and establish a firm foundation for the overall development of high-quality programs and curricula.
“I have huge expectations with the programme and I am sure that the Minorities’ Higher Education Institutions will make the fullest use of this project.
“Today, in this august gathering,also participatedby Principals and Lecturers of Minority institutions from across India, I may take the opportunity to introduce them about the other educational programmes of the Ministry for welfare and development of Minorities.
“Ministry has made intensive efforts for educational empowerment of minorities through Pre-matric, Post-matric, Merit-cum-means based Scholarships and Maulana Azad National Fellowships. The coverage of the Scholarship Schemes in the last four-five years has increased manifold.
“More than half of annual budget of the Ministry is spent on scholarship and fellowship programmes of the Ministry. During 2012-13 and 2013-14 so far, the Ministry has spent more than Rs.3600 crore to award scholarships to more than 1.58 Crore minority students.
“In addition, to strengthen the efforts towards educational empowerment, the Maulana Azad Education Foundation awards scholarships to 25000 meritorious minority girls annually. The annual number of awards has been increased to 35000 now. The corpus of MAEF has been raised from Rs.750 crore to Rs.1250 crore during 12th Plan. MAEF also supports private educational institutions to develop educational infrastructure.
“The total process of implementation of these Schemes is done online and thereby, ensuring transparency and accountability with clear-cut defined roles and responsibilities of all the stakeholders under the Schemes.
“2,266 fresh Fellowships were awarded under Maulana Azad National Fellowship and Rs. 96.86 crores released to University Grants Commission (UGC), the Nodal Agency for the Fellowship during the 11th Five Year Plan. During 2012-13 and 2013-14, Fresh 1510 Fellowships have been awardedand Rs. 116 Crorehave been released to UGC.
“Under the Free Coaching and Allied Scheme, 27876 minority candidates were coached for employment in various sectors with the budget support of Rs. 54.60 crores during the 11th Five Year Plan. During 2012-13 and 2013-14, a total of 14983 minority candidates have been coached and Rs. 33.38 crores spent.
“Financial Support is also provided to minority candidates who clear Prelims exams conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Staff Selection Commission (SSC) and State Public Service Commissions (SPSCs). Under this scheme, one time financial support ofRs. 50,000 for gazetted post and Rs. 25,000 for non-gazetted post is given. During 2013-14, it is planned to support 800 minority candidates. Till 31/12/2013, an amount of Rs. 95.75 lakh has been released to provide financial assistance to 274 candidates who cleared prelims exam conducted by UPSC and SSC.
““PadhoPardesh” is the new scheme of the Ministry wherein the Ministry provides interest subsidy to minority students who avail loans from Banks for overseas studies.
“Further, among other programmes, under Area Development strategy, the Ministry has two major programmes viz. Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme and Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP). In order to intensify the Government’s efforts and bring in synergy with the programmes of other Ministries/Departments, Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for minorities was launched in June 2006.
“Through Prime Minister’s 15 Point Programme, the Central Government ensures equitable allocation of resources for development of minorities by earmarking 15% of target/outlays under important flagship development programmes of Government of India namely, Integrated Child Development Services, SarvaShikshaAbhiyan, Aajeevika, Indira AwasYojana, SGSRY, Priority Sector Lending etc.
“Multi-sectoral Development Programme or MsDP is the flagship programme of the Ministry which was launched in 2008-09 to address the development deficits by creating socio-economic infrastructure and providing basic amenities. It may include schools, health centres, drinking water facility, sanitation, electricity, skill development etc.
“Under MsDP, the unit of planning is Minority Concentration Blocks (MCBs). 710 MCBs and 66 Minority Concentration Towns (MCTs) have been identified for implementation of MsDP during 12th Plan. Since inception so far, the projects worth Rs.6200 Crore have been approved and more than Rs.4433 Crore released under MsDP.
“Ministry has launched a new scheme “SeekhoaurKamao (Learn & Earn)” for skill development of minorities. The scheme guarantees minimum 75% employment of trained minority youths and out of them 50% will be in organized sector. During 12th Five Year Plan, Ministry targets to upgrade the skills of about 3.5 lakh minority youths with Rs. 750.00 Crore. The school drop outs and unemployed youths of the community may benefit from this scheme immensely.
“For women empowerment, Ministry started “NaiRoshni”, a Leadership Development Programme for Minority Women during 2012-13 and supported training of 36950 women in 12 States with an amount of Rs.10.45 Crore. During 2013-14, Ministry aims to train 40,000 women with an amount of Rs. 15.00 Crore.
“In addition to this, I would like to inform that Ministry has launched a dedicated Toll Free Helpline “Khidmat” – 1XXX-XX-2001, to assist the members of minority communities and provide information on schemes/programmes of the Ministry. The helpline works on all working days between 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
“To improve public interface, generate awareness and develop dialogue with target communities, Ministry has also launched a quarterly tri-lingual (Hindi, English and Urdu) magazine “Minority Today” this year.
“Ministry has also launched a Pilot Project “Minority Cyber Gram” for Digital literacy of Minorities in collaboration with Digital Empowerment Foundation in PPP Mode at village Chandauli, District Alwar, Rajasthan on 19.02.2014.
“Finally, I have attempted to highlight the important schemes and initiatives of the Ministry for the health and education of minorities, but I am sure that there may be many issues and concerns of minority students and the educational institutions which may also need immediate attention by the Ministry. I would be grateful to the students, doctors, and faculties present here if they enlighten me on the unattended issues. I assure you that the Ministry will leave no stone unturned for the better health and education of the minorities.”
Courtesy: Press Information Bureau (pib.nic.in)