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Uttarakhand: CM Pushkar Singh Dhami proposes UP-like survey of madrasas to get ‘clear picture’

State Waqf chief says want to modernise, introduce NCERT curriculum in madrasas.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. (Image: Facebook)

While Uttar Pradesh has started a survey of unrecognised madrasas in the state, neighbouring Uttarakhand government has also said that it plans to carry out a similar survey, with the Chief Minister stating that such surveys are “very important” to get a “clear picture of the state of the matter”.

Last month, the UP government announced the survey to gather information such as the number of teachers and curriculum, among others, in unrecognised madrasas. The survey started in UP on Monday.

Uttarakhand’s new Waqf Board chairman Shadab Shams had signaled that they want the state government to follow UP’s example and conduct a similar survey in Uttarakhand, and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Tuesday advocated it. “There are so many things said about madrasas at so many places. A survey is important so that there is a clearer picture of the state of the matter,” Dhami said while answering a question on survey of madrasas in Uttarakhand.

Shams, a BJP leader, told The Indian Express that a committee is expected to be formed by the state government soon and there are certain proposals they plan to pitch to this committee and the Waqf Board for modernisation of madrasas in the hill-state. “We want to survey both registered and unregistered madrasas and bring them on the same track,” Shams said. “Uttarakhand is Dev-bhoomi (land of Gods), and we want to create model madrasas here so that other states can follow it.”

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State Congress president Karan Mahara said there is nothing wrong with this move if the government’s intention is to develop the state of education in madrasas, but then such a survey should involve all educational institutions in the state — be they government-aided and private schools or Shishu Mandirs. “It should not be a targeted step; everyone should be included,” he emphasised.

While AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has called the proposed survey a way to target the Muslim community, Shams defended it and said, “Opposition parties are questioning the step and calling it vote-bank politics. I do not understand why the Opposition is against this (survey) when the madrasa management is welcoming it. Doesn’t the government have a right to know what madrasas are teaching, what their syllabus is? Our intentions are pure; we want to modernise madrasas in the state. We plan to implement the NCERT syllabus (in madrasas),” Shams said.

Arguing for a “set time” for religious teachings, Shams said, “We want students to be taught the Quran until 8 am, but from 8 am to 2 pm it (a madrasa) should run like a normal school with regular classes. There could again be religious teachings in the evening.”

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Pointing out that the Waqf Board wants madrasas in the state to provide “quality education”, he said, “We will make sure that all madrasas are registered and are properly monitored…. We also plan to install security cameras in mosques and madrasas in the state.”

But, he added, it will be “too early to say anything” right now. “We will soon meet the Chief Minister and the minister concerned and propose our ideas for madrasas under the state madrasa board. For madrasas under the Waqf Board, we have a meeting on Thursday and will put up these ideas there,” he said.

Shams said the Waqf Board has decided to develop the Board-run Rehmania Madrasa in Roorkee as a model madrasa equipped with smart-classes, LED screens, adequate teaching staff and other modern infrastructure facilities. Shams said they plan to give laptops to students at Rehmania Madrasa and fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of Muslim students having a Quran in one hand and a laptop in the other.

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According to an estimate, Uttarakhand currently has 522 registered madrasas, of which 419 are under Uttarakhand Madrasa Board and 103 under Waqf Board. Around 500 other madrasas are unregistered.

First published on: 14-09-2022 at 19:41 IST
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