The Centre has decided to provide mid-day meal to students of madrasas imparting mainstream education, a move that comes ahead of the Assembly elections in five states including Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking to reporters after addressing the annual conference of state minorities commissions, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said he had held a meeting with representatives of such madrasas on Monday to discuss the issue and urged them to offer more suggestions in this regard.
The Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) said the decision to provide mid-day meal was taken during the meeting of the general body of Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MEAF) held on December 29, 2016.
During the meeting, the MAEF general body had also decided to consider grant-in-aid scheme for such madrasas.
"The madrasas which provide mainstream education like science, maths, we should help them, give mid-day meal there. We took a decision over a week ago," Naqvi said.
He said the Ministry has been discussing the issue with representatives of various such madrasas and urged them to offer suggestions in this regard.
Naqvi said it was wrong to think that madrasas were not part of India and asserted most of them are doing a good job.
The conference was attended by National Commission for Minorities chairman Naseem Ahmad, its member Praveen Davar, secretary Amrendra Sinha and others.