Ministry rapped over inadequate publicity of Govt schemes for minority communities

NEW DELHI, Aug 13: Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment has rapped the Ministry of Minority Affairs for  not spending adequately on the publicity of  Government schemes for these communities.
In its latest report, the committee says that it has found that against the prescribed budget of Rs 50-crore, only Rs 28.92-crore were utlilised as on February 28, under the Development Scheme in the year 2016-17.
The low expenditure points to the fact that desired publicity is not being given to the notified minorities regarding ministry’s schemes/ programmes and initiatives which to a large extent defeats the very purpose of these schemes and initiatives.
The committee is of the view that these schemes are very helpful to increase the coverage of the beneficiaries through various awareness generating programmes, therefore adequate measures be taken to utilise the earmarked funds for the scheme during 2017-18.
Three studies have been completed till date to assess the impact of the scheme out of the eight studies/ evaluation undertaken by the Ministry and the committee desires that remaining studies/evaluation may also be completed without delay and their findings taken into account while formulating policies/programmes for the welfare of minorities.
According to the recommendations of the Sachar Committee report, a multi-media campaign has been followed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for dissemination of information through electronic and print media in Urdu language apart from other languages with focus on the need for social inclusion.
The Press Information Bureau (PIB) has also been regularly releasing features on various themes associated with minority welfare under Prime Minister’s New 15-Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities as well as the decisions taken by the Government on Sachar Committee report from its various regions such as Indore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore among others.
Besides organising various publicity programmes such as film shows, special programmes, PIB has also rolled out print media, television, private FM and digital cinema on behalf of Ministry of Minority Affairs.
Apart from this, it has released advertisements from time to time on all India basis for the Government of India schemes such as Scholarships, Maulana Azad National Fellowships among others.
All India Radio stations have also given wide publicity to minority welfare programmes. Doordarshan has also been telecasting programmes on the “Prime Minister’s New 15-Point Programme” and implementation of the Sachar Committee recommendations through various formats.
There are two incomplete impact assessment studies undertaken by the concerned agencies but there final reports are awaited and they are “Monitoring Equal Opportunities to reduce distress and vulnerable: Human Development Index of minorities communities in India” conducted by Dr Ambedkar Institute of Social and Economic Change and Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policies” and  ” The impact assessment study in respect of Maulana Azad National Fellowship scheme carried out by Central University of Hyderabad.”
The completion of these studies by the Ministry is being expedited so that their findings may be taken into account while formulating policies/ programmes for the welfare of the minorities. (UNI)