New Delhi: It has been more than 10 years since the Centrally sponsored scheme — multi-sectoral development programme (MsDP), was launched in 2008-09 in the 90 identified minority concentrated districts (MCDs) of 20 states to provide basic amenities in such areas by creating socio-economic infrastructure. The Union minority affairs ministry however still does not have data on the number of families which have benefited in the projects being run under it.
The ministry also does not have details of total number of families living below poverty line in MCDs, and blames the Niti Aayog for not finalising the socio-religious census. Considering the fact that the NDA government is in the final year of its tenure, the lack of a proper socio-religious census could seriously hamper its efforts of minority outreach, and there is hardly any time left to compile such data. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had revised the 15-point programme for welfare of minorities (first announced by the erstwhile UPA regime in 2005), by including skill development and enhancing credit support for economic activities. However owing to the lack of aforementioned data, the very objective of bringing the minority communities under the socio-economic mainstream could undermine the very objective of the welfare scheme.
Top sources informed this newspaper that the minority affairs ministry on its part has now taken up the matter with the Niti Aayog, as it claims that the issue of preparation socio-religious census is pending with the government think tank.
MsDP, which under the Narendra Modi government has now undergone a change of name — now called Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) — according to official sources, currently functions on the basis of the socio-economic caste census (SECC) list of 2011 which is used by state and district authorities for identifying beneficiaries under it. Moreover, the minority affairs ministry also does not have data regarding the number of families which have benefited in the various projects being run under PMJVK. Sources claim that the basic amenities provided under the scheme are used by the entire population in the catchment areas (namely the 90 MCDs).