New Delhi, 17 Jan, 2017: Salient points of my address at Annual Conference of State Minorities Commissions in New Delhi:

 Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) & Parliamentary Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said here that India’s cultural and social harmony is the “password of progress”. Development in the country cannot be ensured without ensuring cultural and social harmony.

Addressing the Annual Conference of State Minorities Commissions at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, Shri Naqvi said that the Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is committed to strengthen the social and communal harmony in the country. No “negative agenda” will be allowed to dominate our “development agenda”. Our commitment to “inclusive growth” has created a strong atmosphere of “trust and development” among all sections of the society including Minorities.

Shri Naqvi said that the Modi Government has been moving forward with commitment to bring happiness in eyes and prosperity in life of every poor person. There is a significant decline in communal incidents during last about 32 months of the NDA Government and no major communal incident occurred during this period. “Empowerment without appeasement” policy of the Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has created an atmosphere where Minorities are also becoming a part of development process in the country.

National Commission of Minorities received 2638 complaints in 2013-14; in 2014-15 it received 1995 complaints. The commission received 1974 complaints in 2015-16 and 1288 complaints were received in 2016-17 (till 31 December, 2016). Most of these complaints were related to individual dispute. Still, we want to stop every single such incident which disturbs social fabric of the country.

Shri Naqvi said that be it internal security, economy, communal harmony, nation’s borders, are all absolutely safe under Prime Minister Shri Modi. The entire world has observed this. Shri Naqvi said that any conspiracy against development agenda will not be allowed to succeed. The terror forces and their supporters who are working against India’s security will be defeated at any cost.

Shri Naqvi said that “inclusive growth” is the commitment and development of the poor is the target of the Modi Government. Minority Affairs Ministry has started several welfare schemes for socio-economic-educational empowerment of Minorities which has ensured that Minorities have been moving forward on the path of development.

The Minorities and their constitutional rights are absolutely safe and secure in India. Nobody can weaken this. Social and religious rights of every section of the society are absolutely safe and the main reason behind this is our great Constitution. We will have to strengthen harmony in the society and our Constitutional values.

“PM’s new 15-point programme”, “Nai Manzil”, “Nai Raushni”, “Seekho aur Kamao”, “Ustaad”, “Pre-metric and Post-metric scholarships” have benefitted all the Minorities. Besides, other Central Government schemes such as “Make in India”, “Skill India”, “Start up India” have also benefitted the Minorities equally.

Shri Naqvi said that the Minority Affairs Ministry, in cooperation with the state governments, is constructing schools, colleges, malls, hospitals, skill development centres etc and revenue generated will be utilized for educational and other developmental activities for the Muslim community. Multi-purpose community centres "Sadbhav Mandap" are also being constructed on waqf land which will be utilized for marriage ceremonies, exhibitions and also relief centres during a calamity.

Shri Naqvi said that Ministry of Minority Affairs will establish 5 world class educational institutions to provide better traditional and modern education to students belonging to Minority communities. A high-level committee has been constituted for this purpose. The committee is working on a roadmap including places where these institutes will be established. We are working on a strategy so that these institutes can get started in 2018. We have proposed 40 per cent reservation for girls in these institutions. It has been decided to start “Begam Hajrat Mahal Girls Scholarship” and “Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centre” across the country.

Shri Naqvi said that we will have to reach out to the people directly. We can receive feedback only through going to the people and not just from paper and computer. “Progress Panchayats” have been playing a vital role in this regard.

Shri Naqvi said that making Haj application process completely digital; launch of Haj mobile app and “cashless chaupal” are among our measures for welfare of Minorities. We have also approved about 200 “Sadbhav Mandap” and 16 “Gurukul” type of schools with a cost of about Rs 262 crore. We are happy that welfare schemes-programmes of the Ministry of Minority Affairs have been made “100 per cent digital” which has ensured transparency in these schemes.

Shri Naqvi said that the Modi Government has been working on “draft of development” and not on “vote bank”. We have to strengthen unity and community in the country to make this “draft of development” successful. The battle against black money and corruption has benefitted the poor, weaker sections and Minorities the most. “This battle has ensured prosperity of poor and bankruptcy of dishonest”.