A three-member team of the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday held a survey of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, a 125-year-old Islamic seminary in Lucknow, as part of an ongoing exercise to assess unrecognised madrasas (religious schools) in the state, officials said.
The committee, comprising sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Naveen Chandra, block education officer (BEO) Rajesh Singh and district minority officer (DMO) Sone Kumar, arrived at the seminary for the survey at 10.20am and left around noon.
The team tried to collect information about the seminary, including details about its affiliation and source of income, Kumar said. The seminary is not affiliated to the state madrasa education board.
“The madrasa Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama is not recognised by the UP State Madrasa Education Board. The authorities here said the seminary is registered under the 1860 Societies Registration Act and is even older than the UP State Madrasa Education Board,” the DMO said.
“However, they (seminary) have some courses which are recognised by West Bengal and Bihar madrasa boards. They said they have applied for recognition of some graduate courses with Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Language University in Lucknow. They have promised to submit all the documents soon,” he added.
The controversial exercise, which began on September 10 and will be held over a span of 46 days, is in consonance with an order of the minority welfare and waqf department, directing UP Board of Madrasa Education and district magistrates across the state to carry a survey of all unaffiliated madrasas.
On August 31, minister of state for minority affairs Danish Azad announced that the state government will soon conduct a survey of unrecognised madrassas to gather information on the number of teachers, curriculum, basic facilities available there and their affiliation with any non-government organisations. The survey will be held in accordance with the requirement of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in connection with availability of basic facilities to students in madrassas, he said.
“Nadwa authorities said there are 2,410 students and 81 teachers in the seminary. They have a library with 2.5 lakh books. They also have a hostel for around 2,200 students,” Singh said.
On funding and source of income, authorities said they run the seminary with the support of the people and using the money they get in the form of rent from some property.
They were asked to provide documents to corroborate their statement, Kumar said. “Once they provide the details, all the members will sit and make a detailed report that will be submitted to the government,” he added.
The Nadwa management cooperated with the survey team and provided all information, vice-principal Abdul Aziz Nadwi said.
“The meeting with them went off very well, as there is nothing to be afraid of,” he said.
“We told them that Nadwa not only provides quality education on religion but also on science, English and Hindi. Our students are serving even in Oxford University,” he added.