Big setback to Muslim education as Minority Ministry orders closure of MAEF


India Tomorrow

NEW DELHI—Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA) order closing down the Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) is a severe blow to the educational growth of Muslims.

The order to close down the foundation that was set up in 1988 on the birth centenary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, was issued by minority ministry’s under-secretary Dhiraj Kumar on February 7.

However, the order does not give any reason for shutting down the foundation.

Maulana Azad was a great freedom fighter and the first education minister of India. It was under his supervision that first IITs and AIIMS were set up that brought revolution in technical and medical field in India.

The proposal for closure of the foundation, according to minority ministry’s circular, was made by the Central Waqf Council (CWC). CWC under the minority ministry, besides other activities, also supervises the education programmes for the minorities.

A voluntary and non-profit organization, the foundation provided grant-in-aid for improving infrastructure facilities of educational institutions run by minorities. It benefitted a large number of Muslims schools and other educational institutions as the Muslim institutions did not have adequate funding in contrast to other minorities like Christians, Jains and Sikhs who do not have funding problems.

The foundation also funded the Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Skill Development Training Scheme for improving employment opportunities of minority youths and supported scholarship programme under Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship scheme for meritorious girls belonging to religious minorities.

But all these programmes will come to an end with the closure of the foundation.

Forty-three contractual employees would also be terminated in the process. 

The total availability of funds with MAEF was to the tune of Rs. 1073.26 crore on November 30, 2023. There is a liability of Rs. 403.55 crore rupees. That left only Rs. 669.71 crores available with MAEF.

MoMA has ordered to transfer the surplus funds of Rs. 669.71 crores to the Consolidated Fund of India.

It has proposed to transfer Rs. 403.55 to NMDFC (National Minority Development and Finance Corporation) to meet the pending claims and liabilities of MAEF.

The MAEF has asked NMDFC to work as a legal representative of it to contest or defend all the litigations in respect of claims and liabilities.

The order says that MAEF may transfer all its fixed assets like land and buildings to the Central Waqf Council.  It has been suggested that the MAEF will also transfer its existing manpower; regular or contractual employees. The regular or contractual employees would remain under the administrative control of the CWC.

The salary and other remuneration to such employees would be paid from the funds of CWC as per existing terms and conditions agreed by the MAEF. Forty-three contractual employees would be terminated by giving one month’s notice, subject to the direction of the court concerning petitions filed by MAEF’s contractual employees.

The Central Waqf Council would create a Cell to contest/defend all the litigations in respect of MAEF employees transferred to it. The CWC will undertake all measures to complete the closure and rationalization process as per existing terms and conditions adopted by MAEF for non-financial assets.

The MoMA order says that MAEF is instructed to carry out the closure process all the earliest and submit the copy of its closure certificate issued by the Registrar of Societies.



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