The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has suggested to the Centre to set up fully government-funded universities for educational empowerment of Christians on the lines of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and the Jamia Millia Islamia.
As part of its suggestions for a medium-term action plan to be implemented within seven years, the NCM also called for roping in educationists from the community to be given due representation in framing educational policies and be appointed on different expert committees.
“Christians should also be given universities for their communities, fully funded by the Government of India, like Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia University,” the NCM said in its annual report for 2016-17.
The report is expected to be tabled in Parliament during the next session, sources said. On being asked about the recommendation, NCM Chairman Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi said, “Such a move will help ensure educational empowerment of Christians.”
Rizvi said, like the AMU or the Jamia Millia Islamia, the university for Christians should impart education to students from other communities as well.
The NCM also said that the government should fully fund at least one university for Christians and it could do so in collaboration with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India.
According to the 2011 Census on the education level of different religious communities for age seven and above, the literacy rate of Christians was 74.34 per cent. Muslims had the highest percentage of illiterates aged beyond seven years at 42.72, as per the census.
This percentage was 36.4 for Hindus, 32.49 for Sikhs and 28.17 for the Buddhists.