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The Business of Muslim Education

Hyderabad, April 24: Andhra Pradesh has the distinction of housing the highest number of Muslim minority institutions in the country. In addition to four medical and over 50 engineering colleges, there are over 490 Muslim minority institutions, offering under-graduate and post-graduate courses having an intake of thousands of students, which have been approved by the All India Council for Technical Education.

Have you ever wondered why the owners or managements of these institutions always maintained a low profile? Unlike other institutions who hold annual press conferences to announce their results, the owners of Muslim minority institutions rarely appear before the media. In fact, they avoid the media to the extent that, except when they choose, they don’t interact with any media person. The reason is quite obvious and simple. They want to avoid the limelight that could force people to question the utilisation of income of hundreds of crores that they earn through sale of seats every year.

Interestingly, most of the leading Muslim minority institutions in the city were established and are being run by Educational Trusts constituted for the welfare of Muslim community through the donations given by philanthropists. However, these Trusts rarely appeared before the people with the statistics of their outcome.

For instance, one of the oldest Muslim minority medical college has so far produced about 3,000 doctors. Similarly, thousands of engineers and other professionals were produced by other colleges run by the same Trust. But it was never known as to how many of them were Muslims and how much “donation” was collected from the students for allotment of seats. No one dared to ask for the balance sheet or annual report of this institution in the last three decades.

Similarly, another prominent educational society established in the name of Muslim community runs over a dozen institutions. However, the finances of this society always remained a top secret. Most of the parents who got their children admitted to the institutions run by the society confirmed that they paid huge donations. However, no one has ever asked the institution to disclose the total amount of donations that it collected and how they were utilised over the last three decades.

Another institution has completely encroached upon several prime Wakf properties to impart education to Muslims. However, it never went on record to state that it does not provide education at free of cost and it figures among the costliest institutions in the city.

It is an undeniable fact that most of the Muslim minority institutions have been converted into money-minting machines. Using money power and political contacts, the owners manage to get the minority institutions status and then begin that process of earning money in the name of Muslim education.

Thousands of Muslim students have benefitted from these institutions, but almost all of them paid a price. The sole beneficiaries were the owners and managements of these institutions. The fee reimbursement scheme came as a bless for these institutions and almost all of them were filled to capacity.

Shockingly, most of the Muslim minority institutions neither subsidised education for Muslim students nor utilised the donations collected from rich parents for the poor Muslims boys and girls who could not even get primary education. Entire donations were collected in cash and therefore, processes were set up to convert this black money into legal income.

During the admission season we often hear the stories of a medical seat being sold for Rs 1 crore or more. But it never came as to how the donation was paid and it went into whose account. Of course, these donations were never deposited into the accounts of Trusts running the institution.

An analyst suggested that in order to expose the real income of these institution and their misuse, the parents and students should come on record to say that they paid huge donations to get admission in the Muslim minority colleges. Further, all the Trusts and managements, who are running institutions in the name of Muslim minorities, should be forced to disclose the real income of their organizations and how they used it.

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