A survey of all madrassas in Uttarakhand will be conducted, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami informed the media on Tuesday (13 September) at the state secretariat.
"There is a need for a survey of madrassas in the state. The government is paying attention to this. Our priority is that the surveys will be done properly as these institutions are very important," ANI quoted him as saying.
According to this report, he acknowledged that there were many complaints against madrassas, and hence, a probe was necessary.
It should be noted that the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government had taken the decision on 31 August to conduct the survey to assess basic facilities available in private madrassas.
The Uttarakhand government's decision seems to be inspired by the action initiated by the neighbouring state. However, this should not come as a surprise as yesterday (12 September) Shadab Shams gave a statement regarding the survey.
Shams is the newly-appointed Uttarakhand Waqf Board president and former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state spokesperson. He called for the survey of all government-funded madrassas to ensure optimum utilisation of the funds.
A total of 103 madrassas under the Waqf Board and 419 madrassas under the Madrassa Board receive government funding. Shams informed media that the survey will take off from these madrassas only.
A database of those madrassas not affiliated to any of the two boards will also be created and it will be checked why they are not registered, he said.
Shams explained, "They will be given an ultimatum to register or close down. No unregistered madrassa will be allowed to continue in the state. I have talked to the CM and an official proposal will be presented soon."
He also said that the government's intent is not malafide, instead, they want to ensure quality education in madrassas. Mainstream subjects like science, maths, Hindi and English will also be included in the madrassa curriculum, Shams said.
"Well working madrassas will be encouraged, while the registration of those madrassas misusing the funds will be cancelled," he further explained.
While the Uttarakhand government has just started the process, UP government has already formed the teams for the conduct of the survey and aims to complete the exercise by 15 October.
The teams will include the deputy commissioner, district basic education officer and the district minority welfare officer. The DMs are asked to hand over the reports to the state administration by 25 October.
Another BJP-led state, Assam is also not far behind in tightening the grip around madrassas. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma ordered the closure of 800-odd government-run madrassas in the state after coming to the power. These were converted into regular schools.
On the other hand, a strict vigil was mounted on the 1,500-odd private madrassas and they were asked to register themselves, provide details of what they teach, their students and, most importantly, their teachers.
The Assam government has now asked the private madrassas to introduce subjects like science, mathematics, geography and social sciences in their curricula.
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