Kharagpur, Feb. 3: Union human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi said here today that the Centre would not provide funds to madarsas in the state if the institutions failed to get accreditation from the state government and refused to introduce “general courses” for their students.
Talking to reporters after attending the 48th annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology, Joshi said madarsas must follow government policy to obtain funds under the Sarvasiksha Abhiyan (education for all) scheme.
“The Sarvasiksha Abhiyan is aimed at the general category of students,” he said. “My government will not hesitate to offer funds to a madarsa if it switches over to teaching conventional subjects like mathematics and science instead of concentrating only on teaching theology.”
Reacting to Joshi’s remarks, West Bengal Board of Madarsa Education president Abdus Sattar said there were only 507 recognised madarsas in Bengal that followed the state madarsa board’s syllabus. “The contents of the syllabi followed by the state madarsa board are the same as the curriculum of any other board, including the state Madhyamik board,” he added.
Sattar regretted that the Centre did not extend financial support to any of the 507 recognised madarsas in the state.
Asked to comment on the state of education in Bengal, Joshi criticised the state government saying “no education system practically exists here at present”. The human resources minister, however, refused to elaborate on his comment.
Addressing the convocation as chief guest, Joshi appealed to the students of IIT to devote their education to human development. “Your target should not be the global market but the global family,” he said.
IIT director Shishir Kumar Dube announced that the institute’s student strength would be gradually raised from the current 3,929 to 5,000 following the introduction of a number of post-graduate courses.
The institute has bagged 249 sponsored and consultancy projects with a total outlay of Rs 203 crore within the academic year 2001-2002, Dube said.
A total 1,050 students were awarded their degrees today. They included 399 students in B.Tech, 13 in B.Arch, 20 in B.Sc and 62 M.Sc students.
Joshi also inaugurated a new hostel for post-graduate students named after scientist Mehgnad Saha.