Vijayawada: Drone training whirrs up controversy

Drone training whirrs up controversy
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Drone training whirrs up controversy

Highlights

Point of Debate: Is training for Muslims and Christians?

Vijayawada: Did Andhra Pradesh Government launch a scheme to give training exclusively to Muslim and Christian minorities in Drone Pilot programme? This had become a matter of controversy more so, on social media with allegations and counter allegations from the YSRCP and the BJP.

The confusion got confounded with contrary statements from different quarters. While the BJP displayed a poster which said that the training was only for Muslims and Christians and alleged that it was against the Constitution and was a policy of appeasement, the YSRCP spokesperson Narayana Murthy responding to a question in a Hindi TV news channel said that the claim of BJP was false and the poster was fake. He said he had checked with authorities concerned and the poster was fake. He, however, did not clarify whether the programme exists or not and if it exists if it was for minorities or not.

But BJP spokesperson Dr Vinusha Reddy said that a circular in the name of MD Mastan Vali, Director of the Centre for Educational Development of Minorities, was issued stating that the Drone Pilot Training had been started as pilot project in Kadapa and had given training and placements to the 70 per cent of the trainees. The YSRCP spokesperson vehemently denied all this as a false campaign by BJP.

But when The Hans India tried to dwell deeper into the issue, it was found that a brochure was posted in social media by a Drone Pilot Training institute in Kadapa on imparting training to youth of minorities.

It mentioned that the drone training will be imparted only to Muslim and Christian unemployed youth. The 45-day training programme is sponsored by the State Minorities Welfare department and was meant to impart training to Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Parsis and Jains.

The Centre for Educational Development of Minorities (CEDM), which organises the drone pilot training programme, clarified that the private drone training institute in Kadapa had shared the brochure in social media without taking its clearance. The brochure also had the emblem of the Government. How could the institute release the brochure without the clearance from the government having become a matter of controversy? The Centre for Educational Development of Minorities is the agency of the Andhra Pradesh Minorities Welfare department and imparting training to the youth in various professions.

Md Mastan Vali, Director of the CEDM, said they had not given any advertisement either in print media or electronic media about the training.

He said corporations belonging to other communities were also planning such programmes which would be funded by the respective departments. The Director of the CEDM said since the Minorities Welfare department was sponsoring the programme and spending funds it naturally gives training to minorities only.

Meanwhile, the employee who posted the brochure on social media has been suspended by the institute, Mastan Vali added.

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