People belonging to minority communities will no longer have to secure certificates from officials to avail of benefits of welfare schemes, with the government making it clear that self-attestation was enough.
“In this context, it is informed that minority certificate is not mandatory for getting the benefits of welfare schemes being implemented by the ministry,” the Ministry of Minority Affairs has said in a recent communication to the states.
The government has notified six communities as minorities — Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains.
The latter’s inclusion was notified in January last year.
The removal of requirement of minority certificates is in keeping with the government’s decision to accept self-attestation across all departments and educational institutes.
The development came after the ministry received several representations from people belonging to minority communities, especially Jains, complaining about not being able to avail of benefits extended to them in the absence of certificates testifying to their communities from the concerned state government authorities.
The ministry had last year done away with the requirement of submission of affidavits towards community certificate and income certificate under pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means based scholarship schemes for students belonging to the notified communities. It had stated that for community certificate, self certification by the student is sufficient.
The decision also comes in wake of the ministry launching programmes for raising the socio-economic profile of the minorities.
These include the USTAAD programme for capacity building and updating the traditional skills of master craftsmen and artisans who in turn will train the minority youths in various traditional arts and craft.
The ministry is also in the process of launching a programme called ‘Nai Manzil’ which seeks to bridge the knowledge gap of students passing out of Madrasas and facilitating their admission into mainstream schools and colleges.