Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on February 17, 2018 highlighted his ministry’s initiatives for the educational development of minority students in the country and said over 2.42 crore minority students have been provided various scholarships in the past three years.

"During the last three years, about 2.42 crore minority students have been provided various scholarships,” the minister said, adding, “This year, more than 1.5 crore students have applied for pre-matric, post-matric, merit-cum-means and other various scholarships given by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.”

While addressing a training programme for women in Mumbai, the minister said that the poor and the minorities are taking part as the equal partners in the development process because of his government’s policy of ‘Empowerment without Appeasement’ and ‘Development with Dignity’.,

"More than three lakh applications have been received for Begum Hazrat Mahal Girls Scholarship," the minister added.

The minister expressed distress over the school drop-out rate among Muslim girls and said it is a matter of concern for the government.

"The school drop-out rate among Muslim girls, which is more than 72 per cent, is a matter of concern,” he said, adding, “To change the situation, the government has focused on educational empowerment of Muslim girls. This has created awareness among the minorities regarding better education."

Naqvi also expressed concern over the low literacy rate among minorities especially Muslims and said it is much below than the national average literacy rate.

"Our government has started a strong campaign for educational empowerment of minorities to fill this gap. Socio-economic-educational empowerment of minority women, especially girls, is our priority," the minister said.

Also read: Govt wants to empower minority communities through education, says Naqvi

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