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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Quota in promotions to be based on merit

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 16, 2012
First Published: 23:13 IST(16/12/2012) | Last Updated: 01:35 IST(17/12/2012)

In an attempt to strike a balance between social justice and merit, the government has decided not to make quota in promotions for SCs/STs an absolute right and it will be subject to "efficiency in service."

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 With the constitution amendment bill to restore reservation in promotions set to be passed in Rajya Sabha on Monday, the government will announce that the relevant article of the constitution dealing with "efficiency in administration" will not be touched in any manner in the proposed law, HT has learnt.

The discussion on the bill in the House became possible on Thursday only after the government and even the Bahujan Samaj Party agreed to accept the opposition's demand, particularly raised by leader of the opposition, Arun Jaitley.  

Minister of state for personnel, V Narayanasamy, is likely to announce the government's decision to delete any reference to Article 335 of the Constitution from the bill. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who also holds the overall charge of personnel department, has cleared the amendment.

"The claims of the members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes shall be taken into consideration, consistently with the maintenance of efficiency of administration, in the making of appointments to services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State," states Article 335.

The government had initially planned to remove all impediments and had stated in the bill "notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in the constitution, the SCs and STs notified under Articles 341 and 342, shall be deemed to be backward and nothing contained in Articles 16 or 335 shall prevent the state from making provision for reservation in promotions".

But following discussions with the opposition, the reference to Article 335 has been removed and the bill will concentrate on ensuring that reservation will be provided in promotions.

The onus of deciding the minimum standards that will be required for SC/ST employees to be considered for promotion will now be on respective state and central government departments willing to implement this decision.

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