Government figures show that the recruitment of minorities in central government organizations stood at 10.18% in 2010-11, up from 6.93% in 2006-07.
The 3% increase in employment across sectors in the last six years coincides with the directives that the Centre issued to ministries and departments that they should take special measures â€” publicity campaigns about recruitment drives and inclusion of minority members in interview panels â€” to boost minority presence in jobs.
Minority has been a thinly-disguised term for Muslims who form an overwhelming share of religious minorities.
Social activist and former National Advisory Council member Harsh Mander dubbed the increase as significant and credited the community for the success.
"It is the outcome of efforts on the part of community members to break out of restraints on social mobility they have been traditionally bound by," he said, adding the government contribution in the trend was smaller.
The percentage of minorities in total hiring across central government jobs was 6.93% in 2006-07. It went up to 8.23%, 9.90%, 7.28% and 10.18% in the following years. Sensing inconsistency, the ministry has called for review of the 2011-12 figures that stand at a dismal 6.24%.
The significance of increasing number of Muslims in central recruitment extends beyond mere job share. That they are joining paramilitary forces and railways, the largest public sector employers, in greater numbers could start a robust trend for future. The community's increasing share in the police force would also strengthen their confidence in security matters.
Minority affairs minister Rahman Khan said, "There is improvement in certain sectors while it is not satisfactory in others. We keep insisting to ministries that they should follow government circulars to beef up turnout and intake of minorities in recruitment drives."
The creation of minority affairs ministry, followed by the Sachar committee which gave a post-independence status report on the state of Muslims, swatted aside the reluctance that Congress had about playing a muscular Muslim card for fear of rival BJP launching its campaign of "appeasement".