As the winter session of the Assam Assembly began on Monday, Health and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday introduced a bill to repeal the provincialisation of Madrassa in the state.

The bill proposes to abolish two existing acts – The Assam Madrassa Education (Provincialisation) Act, 1995 and The Assam Madrassa Education (Provincialisation of Services of Employees and Re-Organisation of Madrassa Educational Institutions) Act, 2018.

“A bill to repeal the provincialisation of Madrassas, aiming to end the practice of running Madrassa by the Assam government has been introduced today. We have tabled the bill in the assembly. The state government in its cabinet meeting has decided that after this bill is passed, the State Madrassa Board will be dissolved and Madrassas will be converted or transferred into normal educational institutions,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Sarma said that it was not a right to fund the teachings of one or a few selected religions through public money.

The Education minister reiterating the government’s stand said, “We are not against teachings of any religion. A government cannot be one-sided. If education is imparted on Islamic religious teachings by the government using tax-payers money, then the government is also bound to pay for the teachings of other religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhist, Sikh, Tribal religions, Christianity etc.”

Reacting to Congress and AIUDF’s opposition to the Bill, the Minister said they have the right to go against it but the government is firm on its stand.

“If we take Assam towards that direction then the schools will educate the students more on religious teachings than mathematics and science. So, to secure the future of the state we have decided on this. The opposition has the rights to protest, oppose, but the government is firm on its stand to get the bill passed,” Sarma added.

The three-day winter session of the Assam Assembly commenced on Monday, following COVID-19 protocols and 11 bills were tabled on the first day.