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  • » 05/17/2011, 00.00

    INDIA

    Christian journalist appointed to lower castes and minority programme monitoring body

    Santosh Digal

    A.J. Philip joins the Assessment and Monitoring Authority, which looks at government programmes for backward classes and minorities. Through him, the needs of the poor will be heard, priest says.
    New Delhi (AsiaNews) – A.J. Philip, a well-known Christian journalist and editorial writer, was appointed to the Assessment and Monitoring Authority (AAM) of the Government of India’s Planning Commission. Indian Christians have received the decision with satisfaction and hope.

    AAM members are appointed to a two-year term. They monitor and review all government welfare programmes and schemes for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes and minorities, including Christians.

    Dr Syeda Hameed, a member of the government’s Planning Commission, chairs the 29-member body. Most members are secretaries in various ministries.

    Other members include Mr Soli Sorabjee, Dr Yogendra Yadav, Mr Partha Chatterjee, Prof Virginius Xaxa, Prof Mrinal Miri, Ms Shabnam Hasmi and Prof Akhtar-ul-Wasey.

    Mr Philip has worked at senior levels for a number of publications, including the Hindustan Times, the Indian Express and the Tribune. He writes regularly for Indian Currents and the Union of Catholic Asian News agency (UCA News).

    He is the recipient of the Indian Catholic Press Association Award for 2003. He also won the Mar Chrysostom Navathy Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2009.

    His appointment has been greeted with satisfaction by Indian Catholics.

    “The appointment of Mr Philip to the federal post is a matter of pride for the Christian community. We are hopeful that the cry of the poor Indian would be reflected through the participation of Mr Philip in the federal government's planning commission,” Fr Mrutunjaya Digal of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar told AsiaNews.

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    See also

    27/10/2006 INDIA
    India's private universities to open doors to outcastes
    The country's main private educational institutions agree to reservations for Dalit and Adivasi students. The government is now working on a bill that would preserve the universities' autonomy and maintain their funding.

    20/07/2007 INDIA
    The government should decide whether Christian Dalits are entitled to same benefits as other Dalits
    Hindu and Sikh Dalits enjoy benefits based on Scheduled Caste status but Christians are excluded. Advocacy group raises the issue before the Supreme Court which calls on the government to state its position. An expert with a commission of the Bishops’ Conference expresses his views.

    10/03/2008 INDIA
    Upper caste and Dalit Catholics clash, police shoot and kill
    In Tamil Nadu upper caste Catholics attack Dalits, destroying dozens of their homes. They are “guilty” of demanding a separate parish. Police move in and fire at attackers.

    10/05/2007 INDIA
    Among Dalits, women are the most humiliated, laments the Indian Church
    In welcoming a resolution before the US Congress on India’s caste system, the Bishops’ Conference of India insists on the role education for women can play in Dalit emancipation.

    14/02/2005 INDIA
    Hopes for the rights of Dalit Christians
    Supreme Court will consider the constitutional status of Dalit converts to Christianity hitherto marginalised and rejected by Indian society.



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