To make skills and crafts practiced by minority communities more profitable, another ambitious initiative of Government, “USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/ Crafts for Development)” was formally launched on 14th May, 2015.
- The scheme aims at capacity building and updating traditional skills of master craftsmen and artisans.
- The scheme will also set standards for traditional skills. The trained master craftsmen/artisan will train the minority youths in various specific traditional arts/crafts.
Other initiatives of the Ministry of Minority Affairs:
- “Padho Pardesh”, for providing interest subsidy on educational loans taken from Banks by minority students for higher studies abroad,
- unique initiative of “Hamari Dharohar” aimed at preservation of rich heritage and culture of minorities, by supporting curation of iconic exhibitions, calligraphy, preservation of old documents, research and development,
- restructured Multi-sectoral Development Programme or Jan Vikaas Karyakram, for area development programme,
- “Nai Roshni” for Leadership Development of Minority Women by providing knowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with Government systems, banks and intermediaries at all levels .
Ministry of Minority Affairs was created on 29th January 2006 for formulation of policies for welfare and socio-economic development of 6 notified minority communities namely, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains, which constitute more than 19% of India’s population.