The Rajinder Sachar Committee, appointed by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India was a high level committee for preparation of a report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India.
It prepared a 403-page report that was tabled in Parliament on 30 November 2006 – 20 months after obtaining the terms of reference from the PMO. It has come-up with this report with suggestions and solutions to include and mainstream Indian Muslims. The report is available from the Indian Government site. and also at 
It is the first of its kind report and it suggests adoption of suitable mechanisms to ensure equity and equality of opportunity to Muslims in residential, work and educational spaces. According to Sachar Committee report the status of Indian Muslims are below the conditions of Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
There is a lot of discussions and debates goes on the Sachar Committee Report.. There are follow-up actions taken based on Committee findings like the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram action funding for National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC).
|“||Last year, I made a modest contribution of Rs.16.47 crore to the equity of the NMDFC. Following the Sachar Committee report (on the status of minorities), NMDFC would be required to expand its reach and intensify its efforts. Hence, I propose to provide a further sum of Rs.63 crore to the share capital of NMDFC||”|
The committee comprised seven members including four Muslims. Headed by Justice Rajinder Sachar, the other members were: Sayyid Hamid, Dr. T.K. Ooman, M.A. Basith, Dr. Akhtar Majeed, Dr. Abu Saleh Shariff and Dr. Rakesh Basant. Dr. Syed Zafar Mahmood was the civil servant appointed by the PM as Officer on Special Duty to the Committee.
During the committee's interaction with women's groups, some of them seriously articulated a grievance that it did not have any woman member. The Committee tried to make up for this by convening a half-a-day meeting with women's groups during its visits to the States. In addition to that, women social activists in large numbers attended all the meetings of all the groups and expressed their points of view and apprehensions in an open and frank manner. Their input was intensive and to the point about the various matters like education, medical facilities, Anganwadi requirements etc. The Committee also held one full day meeting in Delhi in July 2006 exclusively for women from all over India.
The entire Sachar Report is available for download at various websites.
Some findings are as follows: A..Sachar committee has put a lot of analysis about the Indian Muslim with "statistical reports" based on information from government agencies, banks, Indian Minority Commission, different state governments and its agencies. The major points covered in the reports are:
The report put forward some recommendations to eliminate the situation raised for Indian Muslim. Justice Sachar explained that the upliftment minorities and implementation of these recommendations would strengthen the secular fabric of Indian society as well as increase patriotism due to their all inclusive progress. The recommendation include:
The Prime Minister has also unfolded a comprehensive 15-point programme for the welfare and empowerment of minorities.The new plan wants to help the minorities by Enhancing opportunities for education.Ensuring equitable share in economic activities and employment,Improving the conditions of living of minorities,Prevention and control of communal disharmony and violence.
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) or “Education for All Programme”, a national flagship programme to provide quality elementary education to all children in the 6 – 14 years age group through a time bound approach. Based on the data obtained from Census as well as District Information System for Education (DISE), SRI-IMRB Survey etc., the Government has made a number of interventions in SSA to help the minority (Muslim) children in education. One of the thrust areas is to ensure availability of schools in all minority concentrated districts. During 2005-06, 4624 primary and Upper primary schools, and about 31,702 Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) Centres were sanctioned in minority concentrated districts. During 2006-07, 6918 new primary and upper primary schools have been sanctioned in minority-dominated districts. 32,250 EGS centres with a total enrolment of 120.90 lakh children have been sanctioned for 2006-07. Sanction has also been accorded for enrolment of 11.25 lakh children in Alternative & Innovative Education (AIE) during 2006-07 in these districts.
Madrasas/Makhtabs have been covered under SSA. The Madarsas affiliated to the State Madarasa Boards and satisfying certain conditions are eligible for such assistance as is available to other regular schools under SSA. So far 8309 madarsas have been assisted.
Free textbooks are provided to all minority girls from classes I-VIII. Urdu textbooks are provided for Urdu medium schools and for Urdu as a subject. Based on the 1981 Census, 93 districts (now 99) in 16 states have been identified for focused attention. The major focus is on the states of Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Assam. Out of the 1180 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBV), 210 schools have been sanctioned in minority blocks, 1430 minority girls have already been enrolled in KGBVs till 31.3.06.
In addition to above measures, there is also a special focus on 93 districts, which was found to be having more than 20% Muslim population in the 1981 census, for SSA investments in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
Sachar Committee’s recommendations in the sphere of education include a special focus on free and compulsory education; institutionalizing the process of evaluating school textbooks so that they better reflect community-specific sensitivities; setting up quality government schools, especially for girls in areas of Muslim concentration; and providing priming education in Urdu in areas where the language is widely in use. The Government measures outlined above, show that the country is already moving in the direction pointed out by the Sachar Committee.
Indian media expert Dasu Krishnamoorti has criticized the way the media has handled the report. He criticizes them saying that "Positive journalism means projecting the Muslims as us and not them".. Sunil Jain in an article in rediff says "The problem with all such data, however, is that you need to "normalise" it for any meaningful conclusions to be made. Sachar does this only partially", and that rather than basing its results on the entire population of Muslims, the Report should only have considered those Muslims with a college degree.
In addition, the demands made by the Sachar Committee to provide preferential treatment to Muslims in the Indian Army to bring about a fairer representation have been severely criticized by members of the Indian Armed Forces as well as the right wing BJP political party. Retired Colonel Anil Athale of the Indian Army comments that it is vital that the Indian Armed forces remain secular and not give preference to anybody irrespective of religion, and that the Sachar Committee seeks to undermine that legacy. However, there was However, Dr. Sachar replied to this criticism saying that it was an uncalled for attempt to communalise a non-issue. He said replying to the argument.
But I think that is a very stupid argument. Are not the all India services like the Railways and banks and others supposed to be secular? We were able to find out the Muslim representation in services like the Indian Administrative Service or the Indian Police Service without controversy. So, were they suggesting that secretaries and joint secretaries are less secular than those in the armed forces?
He further explained that too much was being read into the exercise.
We are just carrying out a factual survey of the representation of Muslims in all services. This is not limited to the armed forces. This includes the Police, the Judiciary, the IAS (Indian Administrative Service), and State Services and Muslim representation in all walks of life.
|“||Sachar committee was created for vote-bank reasons. It was designed to serve a political purpose especially ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.||”|
and elsewhere BJP leaders have given statements and have said that the report is "distorted, politically motivated and dangerous". BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said that the tone and texture of the Sachar Committee "has a striking similarity to the Muslim League of pre-independence era. Unfortunately, the government is irrationally following a policy of blind populism which threatens to divide the nation.". BJP is currently the only political party that has publicly opposed the findings. The BJP has since seem to have accepted the findings and charged that if such is the state of the Muslim community it is only the Congress which is to blame. Their 2009 election manifesto included on minority communities and improving their situation similar to the Sachar committee recommendations in many ways .
Complete Sachar Report is available at http://zakatindia.org/Files/Sachar%20Report%20(Full).pdf