Minority Issues – SC, ST, Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc.

Unrecognized Madrasas and Government’s role


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Debate on legal and illegal Madrasa and modern education



  • There has been a lot of unhappiness about the UP-government’s decision to conduct a survey of unrecognized madrasas in Uttar Pradesh.

What is the intention of Government behind such survey?

  • The government’s claim: The survey being an exercise to help the madrasas and their students has been less than convincing.
  • Questionable intention: In the past, the government has called into question the patriotism of madrasa students by asking their management to hoist the national flag on Independence Day, record the proceedings, and submit the same to the local magistrate.


Know the History of Madrasa

  • After the birth of Islam in the seventh century, Muslims who wanted a religious education joined study circles in mosques where teachers provided instruction.
  • Over the next 400 years, additional centers of learning, founded and endowed by rulers, high officials and wealthy members of the community, met in public and private libraries. These were early forms of madrasa.
  • By the 11th century madrasas were well-established independent centers of learning with some of the features they retain today.
  • As economies modernized, Muslims who continued to choose madrasas over other schools found that they lacked the training needed for well-paid jobs. Their socioeconomic mobility suffered. Nonetheless, many madrasas refused to integrate nonreligious subjects into their curriculum.

What is the status of unrecognized madrasas?

  • Lack of direction: Most are floundering for lack of direction. Many impart elementary theological instruction through semieducated teachers.
  • Dependence on community funding: If at all there, secular education is, at best, piecemeal. Madrasas depend almost fully on community funding.
  • Funding cut with covid19: With the economic downturn first post demonetization and then postCOVID19, that funding has reduced to a trickle. Under normal circumstances, an institute pressed for funds cuts down on expansion plans or puts new courses on hold.
  • Existential crisis for madrasa: It has become an existential crisis for tens of thousands of students. The dwindling community sponsorship has translated into less food to eat and no warm clothes for them. If that makes it seem as though the madrasas’ prime purpose is to feed and clothe the needy, the reality is not entirely different.
  • Feeding and imparting the literacy: Most students are first generation learners. Many of them are sent by parents with the idea that there will be one less mouth to feed at home. For poverty-stricken parents, the madrasas’ free boarding and lodging is a blessing. The education is often considered a bonus. The Much-maligned madrasas feed the hungry and impart literacy.


What the case studies reveal about education via unrecognizes madrasas?

  • Example of CBSE along with Quran: Jamiatul Hamd in Gautam Buddha Nagar district is a rare madrasa which encouraged its students to take the Central Board of Secondary Education exams alongside learning to be Hafize Quran (one who has memorized the Quran).
  • Shortage of funds: The madrasa is so short of funds that the management does not know where the next meal for the students will come from. In the past, Good Samaritans sent packs of rice, lentils, wheat flour and cooking oil.
  • Decline in sponsorship: Sponsorship has come down drastically, leaving the students with the prospect of going to bed hungry. Also, 40% of the students in this madrasa who went back home during the COVID19 pandemic did not return.
  • Jamia Mahade Noor madrasa in Dadri: Where 30% of the students dropped out after COVID19. Day scholars face an uncertain future. Some teachers could not be retained due to paucity of funds.
  • Closing down of madrasa: The cash-strapped Jamia Naseeriya Islamia in Ghaziabad closed down its wing for outstation students. In mosques across Uttar Pradesh, community aid is sought for unrecognized madrasas after daily prayers.
  • Fear about survey: In almost every madrasa, there are lingering apprehensions about their fate after the survey. Many packed off their outstation students in panic when the survey started. The students may never return.
  • Some student never returned: Incidentally, these schools had also sent back their outstation students after the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March 2020. Many students did not return as their parents got them employed as either farm labourers or at sundry tea shops or eateries. A student who may have at one time dreamed of becoming a scholar of Islam is now a menial worker.

What government can do?

  • Upholding the Constitutional right: According to constitution the Right of a citizen not to be denied admission into state maintained and state-aided institution on the ground only of religion, race, caste, or language [Art.29(2)2]-” No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them”
  • Survey for collecting the data: Aim of survey should not be harassment but the know the status of madrasa and they’re by collecting the data to draft policy for educational and social upliftment of students of madrasa.
  • Recognition of madrasa: Following the due procedure of law government can seek Registration and recognition of madrasa.
  • Financial assistance to madrasa: State government can provide the one-time financial assistance for and after the feedback and review state may continue the funding.
  • Education should be the priority: Government objective should be the modern education of those who are getting poor quality of education. Any constitutional or legal hindrances should not be the excuse to provide the help to needy.


  • While government is duty bound to provide aid to registered and recognized madrasa but not mandatory to provide financial aid to unrecognized madrasa. Government can revamp the unrecognized madrasa into modern education imparting institutions. Whatever government decides, state must provide the quality education without any biases.

Mains Question

Q. What are the cultural and educational rights enshrined under constitution? Explain government can provide the educational assistance to unrecognized religious institutions in India?

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