M A I N   N E W S

PMO steers clear of involvement with Sachar panel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 13
The Prime Minister’s Office has strongly denied its involvement with the work of Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee, which has been tasked with preparing a report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslims.

The seven-member committee was constituted on March 9 last year and asked to submit its report to the government within 15 months.

The committee has also categorically denied allegations that any specific questions were asked by it from any wing of the Defence Forces or the ministry concerned.

In another statement, Media Adviser to the Prime Minister Sanjaya Baru said a “controversy has sought to be created in the media” and emphasised that “after the committee was constituted, the PMO has not been involved with its work”.

At the same time, the committee had been asked to inquire into “what is their (Muslims) relative share in public and private sector employment”.

The committee in its response observed it is “fully aware and values the intrinsic importance of the Armed Forces and there is no way that it would ever ask any question that may in any manner be even remotely prejudicial to the interests of the nation, which must always remain supreme”.

On its part, the PMO listed the terms of reference of the committee, which included obtaining relevant information from departments/agencies of the Central and state governments besides conducting an intensive literature survey to identify published data, articles and research on the relative, social, economic and educational status of Muslims in India at the state, regional and district levels.

The committee’s brief is to address the following questions:

  • In which states, regions, districts and blocks to Muslims of India mostly live?
  • What is the geographical pattern of their economic activity i.e. what do they mostly do for a living in various states, regions and districts?
  • What is the level of their socio-economic development in terms of relevant indicators such as literacy rate, dropout rate, maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate, etc?
  • How does this compare with other communities in various states?
  • What is the proportion of other Backward Classes (OBCs) from the Muslim community in the total OBC population in various states?
  • Does the Muslim community have adequate access to education and health services, municipal infrastructure, bank credit and other services provided by government/public sector entities?


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