Guwahati, October 9: Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday announced all state government-run madrasas will be closed. The Assam government runs 613 madrasas and spends around Rs 4 crore on them annually. Asked about the reason behind the move, Himanta Biswa Sarma said public money cannot be spent on religious education. The state government is likely to issue a notification regarding the closure of government-run madrasas next month. Assam Govt to Give Financial Aid of Rs 50,000 Each to 2 Lakh Youths to Boost Entrepreneurship.
"No religious educational institutes will be allowed to function with government funds. We will bring out a notification in November to this effect. We have nothing to say about privately-run madrassas," Sarma was quoted by TOI as saying. Here it may be noted that Sarma had in February said the state government planned to close down government-run madrasas as well as government-run Sanskrit tols. The government spends nearly Rs 1 crore on Sanskrit tols annually. Assamese Made Compulsory as Medium of Instruction Till Class 5 in Assam Schools.
Update by ANI
— ANI (@ANI) October 10, 2020
Asked about government-run Sanskrit tols, Sarma said: "The Sanskrit tol matter was different. The objection to government-run Sanskrit tols is that they are not transparent. We are taking steps to address this." In 2018, the BJP-led government had abolished State Madrassa Education Board and Assam Sanskrit Board, and brought the madrasas under the Secondary Board of Education Assam (Seba) and the Sanskrit tols under Kumar Bhaskar Varma Sanskrit and Ancient Studies University.
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AIUDF supremo and Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal slammed the BJP for the decision and vowed to re-open madrasas when it comes to power in Assam. "You cannot shut madrassas. After we come to power, we will take a cabinet decision to reopen these 50-60-year-old madrassas if this present government closes them forcibly," Ajmal was quoted as saying.