Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Thursday said madrassas need to be modernised and closing these institutions, where students are taught Islamic theology and religious laws, was not a solution, the Hindustan Times reported.

“We would have to modernise the education system in these institutions and link them with computers,” the chief minister said at a coordination meeting between the Centre and various states and Union territories where the implementation of various central schemes for minorities welfare was reviewed.

“We are not able to utilise energy of those who are misguided in ‘rashtra nirman’ [nation building],” Adityanath was quoted as saying by PTI. “Only quality education is the solution. Our government is committed to development without any discrimination.”

The Uttar Pradesh government set up a website of the state madrassa board in August 2017, where all such institutions had to register themselves, the Hindustan Times report said. The government had then said that it was an attempt to check irregularities, improve the quality of education, and increase transparency. The government gives nearly Rs 5 lakh to 5,060 of the 16,000 madrassas in the state that are either fully funded by the government or receive partial aid.

Not only Islamic theology schools, but Sanskrit schools in the state should also impart computer, English, science and mathematics education apart from the traditional education, Adityanath said.

Minority welfare

The chief minister said that since Narendra Modi became prime minister, the government has been transparent about how schemes are implemented, PTI reported. He praised Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, saying that the implementation of minority welfare schemes has picked up speed since he was appointed the minority affairs minister at the Centre.

Adityanath said that his government did not discriminate in the implementation of welfare schemes for minorities. “We have verified and issued 37 lakh ration cards without any discrimination,” he pointed out. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched skill development programme, which is aimed to provide employment opportunities to youths of the minority community.”

The chief minister complained that “unnecessary controversies” were raked up whenever his government tried to address the matter of betterment of minority communities.