Minority panels’ conference to be held Wednesday

New Delhi, March 31: The annual conference of minority commissions is being held here Wednesday to ascertain the needs of Indian minority communities, identify solutions for the issues related to their socio-economic problems and facilitate focus of governmental action towards them.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram will inaugurate the day-long state minorities commissions’ conference organised by the National Commissions for Minorities.

The main focus of the conclave will be the new 15-point programme drawn up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his first term for the welfare of the minorities, said an official from the minority affairs ministry.

The conference is being held in the backdrop of Ranganath Misra commission report that has recommended 15 percent of job quota for minorities. However, it is unlikely that the report would be deliberated upon during the meeting as parliament is yet to discuss it. The report was tabled in the Lok Sabha last year amid severe opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Of India’s 1.2 billion population, Muslims form the largest minority at close to 14 percent, followed by Christians at 2.3 percent, Sikhs at 1.9 percent, Buddhists at 0.8 percent, Jains at 0.4 percent and others including Parsis at 0.6 percent.

Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will be the guest of honour at the conclave.