A WhatsApp forward is doing the rounds where it is being claimed that the NDA Government at the center has launched a scheme to induct Madarsa students into the Army. The forwarded messages carry a screenshot of what appears to be the headline of a news report, although it is not clear if its indeed the case.
The viral text alleges that ‘Maulana Modi’ is ‘looking for soldiers’ at Madarsas. It claims that a scheme has been launched to ensure that the ‘Army has more Muslims’. It also claims that ‘Maulana Modi’ is taking ‘blind Hindus who keep voting for him’ for a ride.
What is the truth behind Madarsa students claim?
The confusion appears to have been created by a Jagran report from the 28th of July. The report said that the UP Madarsa Board had decided to apply for the membership of Council of Boards of School Education (COBSE).
Since the Madarsa Board did not have the accreditation, its students could not apply for government jobs including the Army and related forces. If the Board is accredited, the students will be able too apply for government jobs as well in the army and paramilitary forces.
Certain avenues of higher education refused to admit UP Madarsa Board students due to the lack of certification as well. These avenues will open up for the students.
“It was recently brought to our notice that the armed forces and several other employment agencies and educational institutions do not accept our board’s education certification for enrollment with them. They ask for COBSE registration from the candidates which the UP Board of Madrassa Education does not have as of now. We have now applied seeking COBSE accreditation,” Board Registrar RP Singh said.
“For this a proposal has been put forth that the Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Language University create the syllabus, conduct the degree-level examinations and give degrees to our students,” he said referring to the fact that the kamil (graduation) and fazil (post-graduation) degrees were not accepted as equivalent degrees by numerous higher education institutions.
Thus, the NDA Government has not launched any scheme to increase the representation of Muslims in the Army. The UP Madarsa Board has only applied for COBSE accreditation, which would make their students eligible for Army jobs.
What is COBSE?
COBSE is an autonomous body under the Government of India. According to its website, “It is established under Article 19(1)G, 29 & 30. Hon’ble Supreme Court (in T.M.A. Pai Foundation Vs. State of Karnataka (SC) 2003 (2) SCT 385.) also has given the right for establishment.”
Numerous education boards have a membership to it, including the Assam Sanskrit Board, State Madrassa Education Board in Assam, Aligarh Muslim University, Bihar School Education Board among others. It currently has 67 Boards among its members.
COBSE also maintains a list of ‘fake boards’, ‘recognised Sanskrit board’ and ‘recognised Madarsa Boards’ among other lists. Thus, quite clearly, none of this is part of any ‘new scheme’.
Does the Modi Govt have anything to do with UP Madarsa Board?
The Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education comes under the minority department of the UP Government. According to reports, the Board has decided to register with COBSE under the instructions of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
“This step of the government will pave way for the madarsa Board students to enroll themselves in the central universities,” RP Singh said. Zirgamudin, an official of the board, said, “The work of preparing documents is being done. A meeting has been held with the officials of the government as well. It is expected that the madarsa board will be registered in COBSE by the start of the new session. This will be a major achievement for the madarsa board.”
What is evident is, multiple state Madarsa boards are already registered with COBSE. Thus, the UP Government has decided to register their state board with the body as well. Hence, most importantly, it is not part of any new scheme.
Are the benefits limited to Army jobs?
Apart from Jagran, Times of India also published a report, choosing to specifically highlight the Army angle in it.
It is not clear why media reports have chosen to highlight only the Army jobs aspect of the matter, given that the registration of the Board will open up the possibility of all government jobs apart from some higher educational institutions.
It is certainly not related to Army jobs alone. Thus, it appears extremely likely that the Army angle was highlighted for purposes of clickbait alone.