MUSLIM REPRESENTATION IN GOVT DEPARTMENTS REMAINS POOR EVEN UNDER AAP

1

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal with members of Muslim community.

SPECIAL STORY

Despite the Aam Aadmi Party’s apparent commitment to improve the representation of minorities in various departments of Delhi government, including Delhi Police, there has been no improvement in the lot of minorities, especially Muslims who form nearly 13% of Delhi’s population. As Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission, argues any change in the representation of the minorities, especially Muslims, in the police force will come as a result of a clear government policy decision which is lacking under the present NDA government as well as under the previous UPA government

Mumtaz Alam | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI — While releasing the Delhi Minorities Commission’s Annual Report 2016-17 on Friday (November 24), Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked the Commission “to be more vocal and proactive to raise and solve problems of the minorities in Delhi.” Good. But how much proactive has his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government been to improve the representation of minorities, especially Muslims in government departments? Official data does not show any change in the lot of minorities.

The AAP stormed into power in Delhi with unprecedented mandate in February 2015. Regardless of whether the Kejriwal government took any affirmative action or not, nothing seems to have changed on the ground for the minorities who constitute 18.22% of the total population in the National capital. Some 13% of them or 21.5 lakh happen to be Muslims.

An assessment of Delhi Minorities Commission’s last two Annual Reports accessed by Caravan Daily suggests little change in representation of minorities in the 10 key departments of the government.

A large posse of Delhi Police personnel parades through Jamia Nagar in Delhi, a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood. Image credit: Getty Images

As per the Annual Report 2015-16, the Directorate of Audit had 11 staffers, none of them from minority communities. In 2016-17, the department with 7 staffers continued to have zero minority representation. The Public Grievance Commission had 35 employees in 2015-16, four of them from minority communities.

Also SeeDELHI’S MUSLIM POPULATION: 13%; SHARE IN POLICE FORCE: 1.8%

In 2016-17, the strength of personnel came down to 26, so did the share of minorities from 4 to 2. This key department again has no Muslim employee. More interesting is the Department of SC/ST/OBC/Minorities where out of 65 employees in both 2015-16 and 2016-17, just one represented a minority community. This department has no Muslim staffer.

Representation of Minorities in Delhi Government Departments

Departments Year 2015-16 Year 2016-17  
Employees Present Minorities Employees Present Minorities Muslims (2016-17)
Delhi Police 77,397 2,993 77,427 3,035 1,388
Delhi Metro   8,524    282   8,524    283    184
Delhi Fire   1,843      21   2,080      26        9
Tourism & Transport      741      32      716      43      11
Directorate General of Home Guards      110        6      115        6        2
Dept. of Food & Safety        92        5        92        4        2
SC/ST/OBC/Minorities        65        1        65        1        0
Directorate of Training        48        3        45        6        2
Public Grievance Commission        35        4        26        2        0
Directorate of Audit        11        0          7        0        0

Source: Delhi Minorities Commission

The representation of minorities in some large departments like Delhi Police, Delhi Metro and Delhi Fire is not any better.

In 2015-16, the Delhi Police had 77,397 personnel, only 2,993 of them from were minorities. In 2016-17, the overall strength went up to 77,427 with 3,035 personnel representing minorities and 1,388 of them Muslims. Of the 8,524 staffers in Delhi Metro, only 283 are from minority communities – 184 of them Muslims.

 

Representation of Minorities in Delhi government departments in 2015-16

Source: Delhi Minorities Commission’s Annual Report 2015-16

As per Section 10 (f) of Delhi Minorities Commission Act – 1999 and Rules – 2000, the Commission can assess the representation of Minority Communities in the services of the government, semi-Government bodies and Government Undertakings, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi Development Authority, New Delhi Municipal Council and other local authorities. Utilising this power, the Commission gets access to the data of minority representation in each departments.

Many of the above mentioned departments are under the direct control of the central government that is led by BJP. But no major affirmative action has been seen from the AAP government either.

Ten years back, the Justice Sachar Committee had recommended 10% reservation for the community in education and government jobs across the country, but the recommendation was not implemented by the government.

Representation of Minorities in Delhi government departments in 2016-17

Source: Delhi Minorities Commission’s Annual Report 2016-17

According to the guidelines set by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the composition of Selection Committee should be representative. It should be mandatory to have member belonging to SC/ST and one member belonging to minority community in selection boards/committee for making recruitment to 10 or more vacancies. Where the number of vacancies against which selection is to be made is less than 10, efforts should be made to have the scheduled caste/tribes officer and a minority community officer included in such committees/boards.

If these guidelines are being followed in letter and spirit is anybody’s guess.

Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, Chairman of the Minority Commission of the Delhi Government

Negligible representation of minorities, especially Muslims, in government jobs could be attributed to at least two main factors – deep-rooted bias in the system and lack of required guidance and training to minority candidates.

The community puts the blame for poor representation both on low percentage of applicants and discrimination.

Eminent civil rights activist Shabnam Hashmi says: “Majority of the Muslims are poor because of which there is a bigger drop-out ratio and a small percentage reaches the qualifying level. There is also discrimination faced by minorities at the entry level.”

IRS (retired) and Zakat Foundation of India President Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood sees “proportionately low percentage of Muslims among the candidates, lower health index among Muslims and Culture of ignoring Muslims” as the main reasons for the shocking under-representation of Muslims.

Eminent civil rights activist Shabnam Hashmi says: “Majority of the Muslims are poor because of which there is a bigger drop-out ratio and a small percentage reaches the qualifying level. There is also discrimination faced by minorities at the entry level.”

Speaking to Caravan Daily earlier, Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, Chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission said that to improve the representation of minorities in government departments, both central and state governments need to have a clear policy decision.

Any change in the representation of the minorities, especially Muslims, in the police force will come as a result of a clear government policy decision which is lacking under the present NDA government as well as under the previous UPA government. Some “advice” or “recommendation” will not do as the case has been until now. Delhi or any other police cannot do it on its own; it has to be a clear policy decision of the government of the state and the Centre,” said Dr Khan.


For feedback and comments, please write to editor@caravandaily.com

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here