15-Point Programme

 

Out of her concern for the welfare of minorities, the then Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi addressed a letter to the Chief Ministers in May, 1983 containing certain points to ensure the economic, social and educational development of the minorities. This letter covered 15 different aspects for action commonly known as the Prime Minister's 15-Point Programme for welfare of the minorities. These points were reiterated by Prime Minister, Shri Rajiv Gandhi in his letter dated 28th, August, 1985 addressed to all the Chief Ministers. The updated text of these points is given below:

 

[A]

Enhancing Opportunities for Education

  1. Equitable availability of ICDS Services: The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme is aimed at holistic development of children and pregnant/lactating mothers from disadvantaged section, by providing services through Anganwadi Centres such as supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check up, referral services, pre-school and non-formal education. A certain percentage of ICDS projects and Anganwadi Centres will be located in blocks/villages with a substantial population of minority communities to ensure that the benefits of this scheme are equitably available to such communities.

  2. Improving access to School Education: Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme, and other similar Government schemes, it will be ensured that a certain percentage of such schools are located in villages/localities having a substantial population of minority communities.

  3. Greater resources for teaching Urdu: Central assistance will be provided for recruitment and posting of Urdu language teachers in primary and upper primary schools that serve a population in which at least one-fourth belongs to that language group.

  4. Modernizing Madarsa Education: The Central Plan Scheme of Area Intensive and Madarsa Modernisation programme provides basic educational infrastructure in areas of concentration of educationally backward minoriteis and resources for the modernisation of Madarsa education. Keeping in view the importance of addressing this need, this programme will be substantially strengthened and implemented effectively.

  5. Scholarships for meritorious students from minority communities: Schemes for pre-matric and post-metric scholarships for students from minority communities will be formulated and implemented.

  6. Improving educational infrastructure through the Maulana Azad Education Foundation: The Government shall provide all possible assistance to Maulana Azad Education Foundation(MAEF) to strengthen and enable it to expand its activities more effectively.

[B] Equitable Share in Economic Activities and Employment
  1. Self Employment and Wage Employment for the poor:

    1. The Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY), the primary self-employment programme for rural areas, has the objective of bringing assisted poor rural families above the poverty line by providing them income generating assets through a mix of bank credit and Government subsidy. A certain percentage of the physical and financial targets under SGSY will be earmarked for beneficiaries belonging to the minority communities living below the poverty line in rural areas.

    2. The Swaranjayanti Shahari Rojgar Yojana (SSRY) consists of two major components namely, the Uraban Self-Employment Programme (USEP) and the Urban Wage Employment Programme (UWEP). A certain percentage of the physical and financial targets under USEP and UWEP will be earmarked to benefit people below the poverty line from the minority communities.

    3. The Sampurna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) is aimed at providing additional wage employment in rural areas alongside the creation of durable community, social and economic infrastructure. Since the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) has been launched in 200 districts, and SGRY has been merged with NREGP in these districts, in the remaining districts, a certain percentage of the allocation under SGRY will be earmarked for beneficiaries belonging to the minority communities living below the poverty line till these districts are taken up under NREGP. Simultaneously, a certain percentage of the allocation will be earmarked for the certain of infrastructure in such villages, which have a substantial population of minorities.

  2. Upgradation of skills through technical training: A very large proportion of the population of minority communities is engaged in low-level technical work or earns its living as handicraftsmen. Provision of technical training to such people would upgrade their skills and earning capability. Therefore, a certain proportion of all new ITIs will be located in areas predominantly inhabited by minority communities and a proportion of existing ITIs to be upgraded to 'Centres of Excellence' will be selected on the same basis.

  3. Enhanced Credit Support for Economic Activities:

    1. The National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) was set up in 1994 with the objective of promoting economic development activities among the minority communities. The Government is committed to strengthen the NMDFC by providing it greater equity support to enable it to fully achieve its objectives.

    2. Bank credit is essential for certain and sustenance of self employment initiatives. A target of 40% of net bank credit for priority sector lending has been fixed for domestic banks. The priority sector includes, inter alia, agricultural loans, loans to small scale industries and small business, loans to retail trade, professional and self-employment persons, education loans, housing loans and micro-credit. It will be ensured that an appropriate percentage of the priority sector lending in all categories is targeted for the minority communities.

  4. Recruitment to State and Central Services:

    1. In the recruitment of police personnel, State Government will be advised to give special consideration to minorities. For this purpose, the composition of selection committees should be representative.

    2. The central Government will take similar action in the recruitment of personnel to the Central police forces.

    3. Large scale employment opportunities are provided by the Railways, nationalised banks and public sector enterprises. In these cases also, the concerned departments will ensure that special consideration is given to recruitment from minority communities.

    4. An exclusive schemes will be launched for candidates belonging to minority communities to provide coaching in government institutions as well as private coaching institutes will credibility.

[C] Improving the conditions of living of Minorities
  1. Equitable share in rural housing scheme: The Indira Awas Yojana(IAY) provides financial assistance for shelter to the rural poor living below poverty line. A certain percentage of the physical and financial targets under IAY will be earmarked for poor beneficiaries from minority communities living in rural areas.

  2. Improvement in condition of slums inhabited by minority communities: Under the schemes of Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) and Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the Central Government provides assistance to States/UTs for development of urban slums through provision of physical amenities and basic services. It would be ensured that the benefits of these programmes flow equitably to members of the minority communites and to cities/slums, predominantly inhabited by minority communities.

[D] Prevention and Control of Communal Riots
  1. Prevention of communal incidents: In areas, which have been identified as communally sensitive and riot prone, district and police officials of the highest known efficiency, impartiality and secular record must be posted. In such areas and even elsewhere, the prevention of communal tension should be one of the primary duties of the District Magistrates and Superintendent of Police. Their performance in this regard should be an important factor in determining their promotion prospects.

  2. Prosecution for communal offences: Severe actions should be taken against all those who incite communal tension or take part in violence. Special court or courts specifically earmarked to try communal offences should be set up so that offenders are brought to book speedily.

  3. Rehabilitation of victims of communal riots: Victims of communal riots should be given immediate relief and provided prompt and adequate financial assistance for their rehabilitation.