Uttar Pradesh, September 30, 2012: Kapil Sibal, minister for HRD, communications and IT Saturday said that the Muslim community in India was at the “bottom of the pile” as far as healthcare was concerned.
“It is unfortunate, but health parameters indicate that the Muslim community in India are at the bottom of the pile. We face great challenges in the field of health. Our health services in rural areas are inadequate, availability of doctors and trained health personnel is far from satisfactory, Sibal said while addressing an audience at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
He added: “The cost of healthcare is creeping up beyond the reach of the common people. Lower level of education and income, which are important social determinants of our nation’s health, also severely affect health outcomes in rural areas as well as amongst the Muslim community.”
Sibal was the chief guest at the ceremony held to observe the golden jubilee of the college.
He also called upon AMU students to play their due role “by coming forward and fulfilling the dreams of their founding father, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, by playing a lead role in serving their environment through poverty and illness elimination programmes”.
Earlier, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad inaugurated the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology, built at a cost of Rs.397.81 lakh.
Azad also laid down the foundation stone for the upgradation of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College hospital under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY), Phase-II at a cost of Rs.150 lakh.
Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of J.N. Medical College at the Kennedy Auditorium, Azad announced that 19 medical colleges of the country including J.N. Medical College were being upgraded to the level of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
He also announced that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare would provide all financial grants and amenities at par with those of top central government hospitals in New Delhi.
New Delhi, September 16, 2012: A group of Activists from Khudai Khidmatgar has decided to monitor at the district level all minority welfare schemes started by government agencies, the ones from Ministry of Minority Affairs and Prime Ministers 15 points programme prominent among others.
They also decided to organize a nationwide awareness campaign by Khudai Khidmatgar, Mr.Faisal Khan the Chief of Khudai Khidmatgar led the team to the discussion meeting with the officials of National Commission for Minorities. Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities (NCM), Syeda Bilgrami Imam, member and other officials of the commission participated in the meeting on Sept 14.
Chairman Mr. Wajahat Habibullah in his address said that, “It is appreciable that Khudai Khidmatgar is continuously working on the upliftment of minorities by practicing communal harmony, peace and creating awareness on various schemes for minorities from the Commission and from various Institutions, there will be investigation with the subordinate officials about the utilization of resources allocated to minorities, the Commission has identified 100 thickly minority populated districts all over India. Mr. Habibullah further said that we will plan to have a statistical report about the blocks and the activity of the Commission will based on block level.
NCM Member Syeda Bilgirami Imam shown her keen interest on the comments and the views that was given by Khudai Khidmatgars and she expressed her views and alternative solutions for the problem faced by the minorities.
Khudai Khidmatgar Chief Mr.Faisal Khan appreciated the opportunity given by the Minority Commission and he promised that Khidmatgars will follow the method of awareness on the society with proper direction of the commission. Members of Khudai Khidamatgar from various parts of the Country attend this meeting. Gulam Jilani, Rahil Iqbal from Delhi, Mohd. Faizan from Uttar Pradesh, Ahsan Raza from Bihar, Nasir Pathan from Gujarat, Jeyaraj from Tamil Nadu, Vishwanath Mathur from Haryana, Naseem from West Bengal, Nizamuddin from Puducherry . Khudai Khidmatgar Secretary Inamul Hasan, Qamar Intekab, Ulema Wing Convenor Maulana Fateh Mohd. Nadwi, Youth Wing Convenor Mohd. Anas and Tabish Batti, Faiz Ahmed also attended this meeting.
|Government of India
Ministry of Minority Affairs
Scheme of Post-Matric Scholarship
for Students belonging to
Govt nod for 25 lakh Pre-matric Scholarships for Minorities:
NEW DELHI (ICNS): The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs Wednesday approved a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of pre-matric scholarship for students belonging to the minority communities through the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations.
The funds to the tune of Rs.1868.50 crore during the XI Five Year Plan (2007-2012) have been approved for the Scheme. Out of this, an amount of Rs.1408.40 crore will be borne by Centre whereas Rs.460.10 crore will be shared by the States. Union Territories would be provided 100 per cent Central assistance.
The scheme will be launched during the financial year 2007-08, targeting 25 lakh scholarships for the XIth Five Year Plan (2007-2012). The scholarships will be awarded to students from the minority communities for studies in India in Government or private schools from class I to class X, including residential Government institutes, and eligible private institutes selected and notified in a transparent manner by the State Governments/UTs concerned. 30% of the scholarships will be earmarked for girl students of each minority community in a State / Union Territory and will be transferable to boy students only if eligible girl students are not available.
The maximum ceiling of tuition fee entitlement would be Rs.350 per month, subject to actuals. The rates of maintenance allowance would be Rs.600 per month for hostellers from class VI onwards, subject to actuals and Rs.100 per month for day-scholars from class I onwards. Admission fee from class VI onwards would be Rs.500 per annum subject to actuals.
25 lakh scholarships will be given to the meritorious students belonging to the notified minority communities during XI Five Year Plan period for their empowerment through education which is expected to lead to mainstreaming of the minority communities.
Young Christians learn about Islamic principles:
JAKARTA (UCAN): An Islamic institute is conducting a course to teach Protestant youths about Islam and pluralism.
Wahid Institute, initiated by former president Abdurrahman Wahid, is cooperating with the Crisis Center of the Christian Church of Indonesia (GKI, Indonesian acronym) in running the four-session course.
Thirty GKI youths including students, writers, broadcasters and social activists attended the first three-hour session on Islam and Believers of Other Religions, held on Jan. 18 at the institute’s hall in Jakarta.
The Friday-evening sessions run through Feb. 8 and will end with a three-day live-in program in a pesantren, or Islamic boarding school, in Yogyakarta, 420 kilometers southeast of the capital.
Subsequent sessions are titled The Map and Movement of Contemporary Islam; Islam, Politics, and Formalization of Shari’a; and Islam and Its Believers’ Problems. Shari’a is the Islamic legal code.
Course coordinator Moqsith Ghazali told UCA News the curriculum was set up in consultation with the Protestant School of Theology, the Jesuit-run Driyarkara School of Philosophy and several pastors.
The idea behind the interfaith program, he said, is to help people who are not Muslims know Islam and its views on religious pluralism firsthand.
Materials published by the institute, which has the motto Seeding Plural and Peaceful Islam, say it aims to develop moderate Islamic thought, and promote democratic reform, religious pluralism, multiculturalism and tolerance among Muslims in Indonesia and worldwide.
Wahid and Maftuh Kholil were the speakers at the Jan. 18 session. Wahid, popularly known as Gus Dur, headed Nahdlatul Ulama (NU, awakening of Islamic scholars), the largest Indonesian Islamic organization, before becoming president from 1999 to 2001. NU claims 40 million members.
Kholil, an interreligious dialogue activist, is head of the NU municipal board in Bandung, capital of West Java province, where he also runs a pesantren.
Islam has a pluralistic worldview, Wahid told the young Protestants. He quoted from the Qur’an: “Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.” This, he said, “is the essence of pluralism — people may follow different religions.”
Wahid admitted he himself finds it difficult to understand the Qur’an. “So you also must carefully read your Bible,” he advised.
Participants told the former president about attacks on churches by certain Muslim groups and asked his help.
One participant, Renata, requested that Wahid and NU protect Christian religious activities and help Christians obtain building permits for churches. “Christians need Muslims’ support,” she told Wahid, adding her hope that he would “help us solve many problems in dealing with other Muslims.”
Kholil, in his talk, recalled Prophet Muhammad’s six basic social principles: equality and brotherhood, freedom, mutual protection, mutual help, peace and tolerance.
He said the Prophet’s first act after arriving in Medina in A.D. 622, was to establish the Shahifah Madinah (Medina charter), “a common commitment that all citizens are united in one society, and that they always work together to develop and solve social problems in Medina.”
Kholil recalled that on Nov. 10, his NU board invited Buddhist, Catholic, Confucian, Hindu, Muslim and Protestant leaders for a meeting at its office on Sancang Road.
“After talking, sharing and discussing the (religious) situation in the city, we, 17 religious leaders, agreed, signed and declared a common five-point commitment.”
Their Sancang Charter says: “We, people of different religions in Bandung, are part of the Indonesian nation and uphold unity and oneness. We support human values, and always strive to uphold the law in realizing welfare, justice and harmony for the common good. We uphold tolerance, consideration and mutual respect; and work together in solving social and environmental problems.”
Kholil said he and NU members also visited churches and cathedrals in Bandung to distribute flowers to Christians on Christmas Day 2006. He also said he garlanded Catholic and Protestant leaders on the occasion.
According to Kholil, the chairman of NU’s central board, Said Agil Siradj, said in his address during the Nov. 10 meeting: “NU, the majority, must protect the minority. It is the principle of NU. NU is ready to serve as protector of people’s safety in the whole of the Republic of Indonesia.”
The present course is the Wahid Institute’s fourth interreligious program. Previous programs were held for Protestant pastors and theologians.
ISLAMIC SHARIAH INVESTMENT – an example for Indian Christians:
Maulana Burhanuddin of Markazul Ma’arif (Mumbai) offers religious guidance to a small group of financial consultants, who are showing the path of Islamic investment to the faithful…. India has the second largest population of Muslims, after Indonesia. Mainstream banks like HSBC, Standard Chartered, ABN Amro & Citibank offer Islamic banking…. Of the 4,800 odd companies listed on the BSE & NSE, there are about 800 that comply with the Shariah – Islamic law. Another consultant, Parsoli Corporation, regards 58% of BSE market cap and 84% of the Nifty as Shariah-compliant.
Maulana Burhanuddin says that Islam considers the aspect of social responsibility & economic justice so crucial to society, that the concept of zakat (charity) ranks among the five basic tenets of that the religion holds dear. Islamic investment consultants point out that it is also incumbent upon a Muslim to invest his money, in economic activity rather than allow it to lie idle.
The campaign (to promote Islamic investment), targeting the vast middle class, with increasing disposable income, but a conservative mindset – that is wary of transgressing religious guidelines. So while, the likes of Idafa Investments held workshops in Hyderabad & Mumbai, Parsoli Corp will travel to Srinagar, with the Maulana. Zafar Sareshwala, MD & CEO of Parsoli impresses the merits upon an audience, which often includes women – The present system of banking is only about 200 years, whereas Islam developed a full-fledged, foolproof system 1,400 years ago. The ban on paying & seeking interest in our religion, is to remove the disparities between the lender & borrower.
This is done to ensure that each person participates in economic activity by contributing what he can. Islam says that the risks & rewards of business be shared, as per one’s contribution. So the lender puts in the capital, while the borrower contributes his skill. Should the business fail, the lender stands to lose his money, but the borrower also loses the skill, etc. he invested. So why should the lender have power over the borrower?
The aim is to bring the Muslim masses into the mainstream of the Indian economy, via the route of Islamic investment, says his brother, Uves Sareshwala, Jt MD of Parsoli. Along with the stocks of banks that charge interest, sectors like liquor, tobacco, gambling & certain forms of entertainment are prohibited under Islam. Companies can fall out of favour should it be discovered that they are following unethical business practices or polluting the environment, which is another negative by Islamic rules. Islam does not sanction song & dance, so film production houses would not make it as a Shariah compliant investment.
Ashraf Mohamedy, MD of Idafa cites the case of a popular afternoon paper in Mumbai, which had to be taken off the list because somebody pointed out that it carried “offensive” pictures on a daily basis. (remember, The Catholic Secular Forum’s objections to Mid-Day mate, featuring on its regular page 3, a semi-nude model, bearing a cross on her panty, while playing with a chain that resembled the Rosary ? Mid-Day thereafter apologized, when threatened with action)
- Times of India, Mumbai, 20th May, 2007
Shariah Infra Fund:
India’s first Shariah compliant infrastructure fund is on its way. The 2i Capital Group, which operates in India, UK & Mauritius, in a consortium with Oman-based Amwal Investment SAOC has launched a $ 300 million offshore Shariah Compliant India Infrastructure Development Fund, registered with SEBI and based in Mauritius. “A lot of money is being allocated for India from the Middle-East. We are looking at tapping investors from the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) countries”, said Vivek Sekhar, promoter of the 2i Capital Group.
- Economic Times, 13th June, 2007
Islamic Nations Meet to Usher Golden Age:
Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait, UAE & Pakistan, challenged Islamic countries to work together to create a golden age to liberate Muslims from poverty, conflict & extremism. “We are now at the crossroads in our history as an ummah – Muslim community. Never in the history of the ummah have we faced such great odds”, Malaysian PM, Abdullah Badawi told those attending the World Islamic Economic Forum. While the nations of the west (are these mistaken to be Christian?) bask in the glory of their global ascendancy, Muslim nations were largely consigned to what people term as The Third Word, he said. The PM noted that 57 members of the Islamic Conference accounted for only 5 % of the world’s gross domestic product (2005), despite comprising 21% of the global population.
Mr Abdullah Badawi said that Muslim nations must take bold measures, including investing in education (his country invested 8 % of GDP on education) and those taken by the UAE, which recently announced a $ 10 Billion endowment fund for investments in education across Muslim nations. Indonesian President, Susilo BambangYudhoyono, who leads the world’s most populous Muslim country said, Islamic nations can work “as a collective force” for their own development, because they currently supply 70 % of the world’s energy requirements & 40 % of raw material exports globally.
“We in the Islamic ummah can achieve true solidarity among ourselves…. And reclaim the eminence that we enjoyed in the Golden Age of Islam”, Yudhoyono said. He suggested Muslim countries remove trade barriers to boost business & encourage tourism. Kuwait’s PM, Sheik Nasser AMAS said another challenge is to promote dialogue with the rest of the world, especially “to refute activities by a minority of Muslims, who do not represent the tolerance of Islam”. Sheik Saud Bin SAQ, Crown Prince, Ras-Al-Khaimah, UAE said such efforts to improve ties was necessary, because “the Muslim world is not an island, it is part of the larger world”.
Zahid Hamid, Pakistan’s minister of privatization & investment, said that a widening ideological chasm between the west & the Islamic world had resulted in Muslims “paying the highest price, for being caught in the clash between extremism & modernization.
- Associated Press, KL, 28th May 2007
Muslim ‘Moolah’ to boost India growth :
On September 11, 2001, the world changed for almost everybody in the planet. The case of Islamic investors was no different. But Indian industry sources engaged in promoting Islamic finance and investment expect an investment of at least one billion US dollars in Shariah-compliant Indian companies in the next one year. Shariah is the Islamic legal framework covering all aspects of lives of Muslims – private and public – including trade, commerce and business.
Keeping in view the immense opportunities of Islamic investment in India in future, Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund has launched an Islamic fund worth $300 million to enable Islamic investors to invest in Indian stocks in a shariah-compliant way. A few months ago, a Bangalore-based venture capital firm named ’2iCapital’ placed 250 million in an Islamic fund.
Kuwait-based Khaleej Finance and Investment also recently invested US $250 million in shariah-compliant venture in India and Beary’s Investments, a Middle-East investment group, made an investment of over US $50 million in real estate in Bangalore just two months ago. This suggests that India is emerging as an investment destination for global Islamic investors.
According to Dr Shariq Nisar, an expert on Islamic investment and finance associated with Mumbai-based Idafa Investment Pvt Ltd, a stock brokerage firm adhering to Islamic economic norms, there is a clear switch of Islamic investors looking for alternate destinations owing to fear of freezing of their accounts in Europe and North America due to political and other developments in the last few years.
As many as 180 Islamic Investment Funds, says Dr Nisar, have been floated since 9/11 and all of them are looking for investment out of Europe and North America. Another reason, says Nisar, for Islamic investors moving out of Europe and North America could be the low rate of returns in those countries where the GPD has registered a downfall in recent years.
According to a study conducted by Dr Nisar, a number of Shariah-compliant stocks in India are much higher than in Muslim countries put together, thus providing immense scope of parking money by Islamic investors. He claims that 61 per cent Indian companies are Shariah-compliant against 57 per cent in Malaysia, 51 per cent in Pakistan and a mere 6 per cent in Bahrain. Giving details, he says that 335 of 1,000 listed firms at National Stock Exchange and 237 out of 500 listed at Bombay Stock Exchange are Shariah-compliant.
“Surprisingly, the growth in market capitalisation of Shariah-compliant stocks was also found to be better than the rate of growth achieved by non-Shariah-compliant stocks,” claims Dr Nisar, saying that “Islamic finance is fast becoming a great success story of modern times”.
According to Uvesh Sareshwala, director of Parsoli Investment Corporation, an Ahmedabad-based stock brokerage firm that adheres to Islamic investment norms and also created India’s first Islamic equity stock index, the Parsoli Islamic Equity Index, “Export earnings of Gulf countries have gone up and all of it can’t be invested locally due to little economic activities in Arab countries.
To that end, Parsoli has recently prepared an 8-minute film showcasing India’s immense economic growth and its potential for investment. “Among other things, the film contains India’s rising gross domestic product, capital market regulation rules, number of Shariah-compliant companies,” says Sareshwala. Company’s managing director Zafar Sareshwala toured European countries showing the film to Arab and Islamic investors with a view to mobilise them to invest their money in Indian ventures.
He says that scope of investment in real estate is limited but there is no limit of investment in stock market.
He said there were certain misgivings among certain quarters in India about the launching of Islamic fund as they felt it would go against the secular character of the country. “But to motivate Muslims to invest, we have to launch Islamic funds, conforming to Shariah norms,” said Sareshwala.
With Islamic finance industry at its infancy in India, firms and institutions in Islamic investment are facing shortage of qualified Islamic religious scholars as also bankers. “To meet the needs of Islamic finance industry, three institutes offering education in Islamic finance and management have been set up recently in Kerala (Calicut), Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) and Bhubaneswar (Orissa), offering postgraduate diploma in Islamic banking and finance,” says Dr Nisar.
“Even Indian Muslim investors have shown great interest in investing in Shariah-complaint stocks,” said Sareshwala. While the local clientele of Parsoli is increasing at a rate of 10 to 20 per cent per month, Sareshwala hopes to achieve the strength of at least 20,000 in the next six months. Mumbai-based Idafa also claims a rise in the number of its clientele regularly. “There are more than 800 clientele with Idafa at present,” said Idafa’s Ubaid Chiprah.
An Ahmedabad-based investor Sufiyanbhai Ibrahimbhai Kothwala said : “I was attracted to investing in stocks after I came to know that most of the Indian companies are Sharia-compliant. Earlier, I never invested in stocks. I have now parked my money in several Shariah-complaint companies and am also motivating my business friends to put their surplus in Shariah complaint stocks rather than stashing them at home or in saving bank accounts.”
He says: “Shariah-compliant stocks are ‘halal’ (permissible) under Islamic finance laws while non-Sharia compliant companies are ‘haram’ (prohibited).”
Another investor Usmanghani Lakhani, hailing from a business family, says a part of the family’s income was being invested in Sharia-compliant stocks because while the income from it is ‘halal’, it also multiplies the money which would otherwise have just depreciated by keeping at home.
“With increasing awareness about capital market among local Muslims owing to educational growth among them, demand for Islamic investments has also gone up,” says Sareshwala, adding that is why his company had opened its franchisee in Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nanded, Bangalore, Rajkot, Srinagar and at four places in Ahmedabad…..
- Zeeshan Ahmed / Commodity Online, AHMEDABAD
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This is a page for Christian businesspersons & professionals. If you have a product / service to offer at a discount do let us know.
|•||Skills of Outstanding Leaders
- Mac Hammond
|•||The Mission Message – Mac Hammond|
|•||Business & Educational Loans To Minorities|
Skills of Outstanding Leaders – Mac Hammond
It’s one thing to have a vision. It’s another thing to have a sound strategy for making that vision a reality. Some leaders have the God-given ability to break an exciting vision into achievable steps, so an organization can march intentionally toward the actualization of their mission.
A vision is powerful. It compels action. But people need to know how you plan to make it a reality. In the Old Testament, we read about a group of strategic leaders. We are told they had a keen understanding of the times that enabled Israel to know what to do.
My question of the day for you is, “Do you have a sound strategy for implementing your vision?”
The Mission Message – Mac Hammond
What is your business or organization all about? Can you articulate “the message” in a single sentence? Can your staff? When every member of your organization can tell a total stranger what you are all about in a few concise sentences, you’ll have a unified core of workers focusing their efforts on a single long-term goal.
But that can’t happen if you don’t cast the vision. The Bible says, where there is no vision the people are unrestrained. One of God’s keys to organizational growth is making sure you’ve put the vision before the people you’re leading.
So the question is, “Have you?”
Business & Educational Loans To Minorities:
Recently, a prominent newspaper reported that a state-funded body, Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation must disburse Rs. 40 crores in small loans to minorities by march 2008. The Corporation in funded by the Government of Maharashtra as well as the Central Government. Our enquiries revealed that the scheme is especially designed to meet the financial needs of minorities (including christians) for business / self employment as well as higher education. Here is some brief information on it:
Any body who has passed class 4 can apply for a loan: Rs. 5 lakh as term loan for business & Rs. 3 lakh for higher education.
Interest rate range between 3 to 5 percent, which are much lower than the current market rate of 9 to 12%.
For higher education purposes, the the entire amount applied for will be disbursed (upto a maximun of Rs. 3 lakh). In the case of term loans. 90% of amount applied for will be disbursed (upto a maximum of Rs. 5 lakh).
It seems to be a great opportunity for Christian students and small-scale businesses/self employed persons requiring finance, and further details may be obtained from:
|Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation
Old Customs House, Near Asiatic Library
Ballard Estate, Mumbai
Tel: 2267 2293 / 2265 3080
The PDF below gives a list of some of the Christian businesspersons & professionals in the following Categories:
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• Chemicals / Lubricants / Paints / Pharma / Pesticides
• Computer / Fax / Training
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• Entertainment / Marketing / Export
• Finance / Insurance / Legal / Manpower
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• Ac & Refrig / Fire / Security System
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• Textiles & Garments