Poor Muslim students reaping benefits of reservation

By Mohammed Ali Shabbir

The four percent reservation for Muslims introduced by the then Congress Government in 2004-05 has transformed the lives of more than 15 lakh poor students across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The astounding figures are not hearsay but the official data available on the website of Telangana State Council for Higher Education (TSCHE) and with the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD).

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) initiated a national survey on Higher Education (AISHE) in 2011 in order to prepare a sound data base for a higher education system covering educational institutions across the country.

According to TSCHE data, there were 12,60,814 students pursuing courses like Ph. D, M. Phil, Post Graduate, Under Graduate, PG Diploma, Diploma, Certificate and Integrated courses for the 2017-18 academic year. Of them, 108,201 were Muslims, including 50,657 girls.

Of 3,41,86,925 students across all States and Union Territories,  17,57,629 were Muslims, which translates to 5.14% of the overall students enrolled.

Incidentally, of them, as many as 108,201 (or 6.16%) are Muslim students belonging to Telangana, which stands ninth in terms of share of Muslims students at the All India level. The break-up of other States is Uttar Pradesh (13.94%), West Bengal (13.13%), Maharashtra (8.58%), Kerala (8.17%), Bihar (8.13%), Jammu & Kashmir (8.07%), Tamil Nadu (6.70%) and Karnataka (6.54%).

The percentage of Muslims among all students of Telangana is higher than the national average. Of 12,60,814 students in Telangana, as many as 108,201 are Muslims, which at 8.58% is way above the national average of 5.14%.

Similarly, in Andhra Pradesh, of 15,01,489 students, as many as 52,431 ( 3.49%) are Muslims.

Telangana ranks seventh in terms of percentage of Muslims among all students. However, if we compare this with other States, then Telangana is certainly among the top States with highest percentage of Muslims in higher education, proportionately speaking.

State Muslim

Students (%)

Muslim

Population (%)

Lakshadweep 43.12 95.47
Jammu & Kashmir 39.63 66.97
Kerala 13.67 24.7
Assam 13.62 30.92
West Bengal 11.33 25.25
Bihar 9.44 16.53
Telangana 8.58 12.68
Karnataka 6.28 12.23
Jharkhand 5.56 13.85
Daman & Diu 5.36 7.76
Uttar Pradesh 5.03 18.5
Andaman & Nicobar Island 5 8.22
Goa 4.22 6.84
Maharashtra 3.68 10.6
Manipur 3.65 8.81
Andhra Pradesh 3.49 8.53
Tamil Nadu 3.43 5.56
Puducherry 3.22 6.09
Gujarat 2.45 9.06
Uttarakhand 2.23 11.92
Delhi 2.22 11.72
Tripura 2.21 7.95
Madhya Pradesh 2.15 6.37
Rajasthan 2.01 8.47
Meghalaya 1.78 4.28
Odisha 1.15 2.07
Dadra & Nagar Haveli 1.03 2.96
Punjab 1.02 1.57
Chhattisgarh 0.88 1.97
Haryana 0.7 5.78
Himachal Pradesh 0.51 1.97
Nagaland 0.49 1.76
Chandigarh 0.46 3.95
Sikkim 0.34 1.42
Arunachal Pradesh 0.27 1.88
Mizoram 0.23 1.14
All India 5.14 13.43

The higher percentage was achieved purely on the strength of the 4% reservation in educational institutions and their implementation in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, if we combine the statistics of both Telugu-speaking States, then the total number of Muslim students in higher education for the year 2017-18 i(108201 + 52431) stands at an awe-inspiring 160,632, thereby accounting for approximately 9.14% of the total Muslim students studying in the country.

According to the All India Survey of Higher Education 2018-19, as many as 130,282 Muslims students were enrolled in Telangana State while it was 58,779 in Andhra Pradesh. Put together, a total of 1,89,061 Muslim students were enrolled in both the Telugu States where the four percent reservation is being implemented.

There has been a significant year-on-year increase in number of Muslim students in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana since 2004-05 when the first five percent and the subsequent 4% reservation was introduced.

The AISHE 2018-19 has furnished details of enrolment for seven years from 2012-13 to 2018-19.

Year Telangana Andhra Pradesh Total
2012-13 89,524 38,500 1,28,024
2013-14 97,035 43,314 1,40,349
2014-15 1,01,142 47,571 1,48,713
2015-16 1,07,631 46,734 1,54,365
2016-17 1,16,803 52,985 1,69,788
2017-18 1,09,240 56,100 1,65,340
2018-19 1,30,282 58,779 1,89,061
TOTAL 10,95,640

Therefore, nearly 11 lakh Muslim students got admission in courses of higher education in a span of just seven years. If we add the estimated numbers from 2004-05 to 2011-12, then the total number of beneficiaries is more than a boisterous 15 lakh.

The Commission of Inquiry, headed by retired bureaucrat Shri. T.S. Sudhir, which was appointed by the Government of Telangana to study the backwardness among Muslim community, has included very interesting information on enrolment and share of Muslim students in various courses. It included a sample for the year 2014-15 or 2015-16.

B.Sc. (Agriculture) @ PJTSU 2014-15 3.13%
EAMCET (Engineering) Convener Quota 2015-16 9.8%
B. Pharmacy Convener Quota 2015-16 17.87%
Medical Courses 2014-15 5.2%
Polytechnic Courses 2015-16 12.48%

University enrolment of of Muslim Students

in State Universities 2014-15

University Total

Students

Muslim Students %
Osmania University 97,039 10,529 10.85%
Dr. BRAOU 74,950 7,366 9.83%
Telangana University 10,641 369 3.47%
PJTSAU 639 20 3.13%
Palamuru University, Mahabubnagar 498 31 6.22%
Mahatma Gandhi University, Nalgonda 852 29 3.40%

The statistics clearly show that the four percent reservation has given rise to major accomplishments by Muslim students in education. And the list is growing with each academic year.

(Mohammed Ali Shabbir is a former minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana State Legislative Council)