A panel, which recommended reservation for Muslims and other minorities in government jobs, has advocated the implementation of a three-language formula all over the country for welfare of linguistic minorities.
The five-member National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities headed by former Chief Justice of India Rangnath Mishra said, "the three-language formula should be implemented everywhere in the country making it compulsory for the authorities to include in it the mother tongue of every child - including especially Urdu and Punjabi."
"All necessary facilities, financial and logistical should be provided by the state for education in accordance with this dispensation," it said. The Commission made the observation while recommending measures for the welfare and upliftment of linguistic minorities. It noted "those linguistic minority groups, who keep their education restricted to their own language are often handicapped in the matter of competing with others in respect of educational development and economic advancement."
The Commission said, "members of those linguistic minority groups, whose education is limited to their mother tongue and who do not have adequate knowledge of the majority language of the region should be provided special facilities in form of scholarship, fee concession and lower eligibility criteria for admission to enable them to acquire proficiency in the regionally dominant language".
The Commission specifically recommended that Urdu-medium schools should be provided special aid and financial assistance or otherwise to enhance and improve their efficiency, standards and results. The Commission was set up in October 2004 to identify socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities and recommend measures for their welfare including reservation in education and government employment.
It had submitted its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2007 which was tabled in Lok Sabha on December 18
this year without any Action Taken Report with the government saying it was not mandatory as it was not constituted under the Commission of Enquiry Act. Though the Commission noted the concept of backwardness should be confined in its application to only religious minorities saying it has no relevance for the linguistic minorities, it at the same time maintained that the latter might be facing "discrimination and denial of constitutional rights in practice".