Arjun sees scope for change in Bill on reserving posts in IITs, IIMs
HRD minister Arjun Singh on Thursday said there is still scope for change in the Bill that allows for reservation in posts for SCs and?

STs only at the entry level — assistant professor, earlier called lecturer — in IITs, IIMs and other institutes of national importance.?

If the change takes place, it would mean reservation in posts of readers and professors as well.?

Speaking to journalists after the annual meeting of the National Monitoring Committee of Minority Education (NMCME), Singh said the Bill — SCs and STs (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill, 2008 — was passed in a hurry in Rajya Sabha in the last session of Parliament. "I think there is scope for change in the Bill and I am hopeful it will happen,'' Singh said.?

As for NMCME, Singh said the ministry has decided to provide statutory powers to the committee. He said a suitable law would make the committee accountable to Parliament. HRD ministry has set up a sub-committee for this purpose.?

Singh also said the ministry has decided to examine the financial implication of extending the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) scheme to unaided educational institutions. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and MDM are already being implemented in minority population concentration and aided minority institutions.?

In the meeting, NMCME members expressed concern about the insistence of a few state governments on no objection certificates for establishing minority educational institutions and the difficulties faced in obtaining minority status.?

The members also wanted the government to have a focused approach for encouraging participation of minorities in higher education. In this regard, Singh announced the setting up of two coaching centres for miniority students in Maulana Azad Urdu University, Hyderabad, and Aligarh Muslim University.?

In elementary education, 94 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya have been sanctioned in urban areas with Muslim concentration. As many as 7,828 recognised madarsas/maqtabs are under the Education Guarantee Scheme of SSA with 10.1 lakh Muslim children.