The Indian industry has said recommendations by a statutory government panel about private companies setting aside a fixed proportion of jobs for people from marginalised sections is not practical.
The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) on Monday advised enacting a legislation that would make it mandatory for private entities, including cooperative and philanthropic organisations, to reserve 27% of all hiring for people from the other backward classes (OBCs).
Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said “politicians can say what they want. We don’t hire people based on castes, creed or political compulsions. We hire human capital based on merit and skill suitable for our companies.”
“We don’t want them coming with a ‘card’ of reservation. Industry requires productivity and competitiveness,” said GP Srivastava, senior advisor to industry chamber Assocham.
Industry experts say that focus should be more on entrepreneurship than reserving jobs.
“Reservation is a thing of the past and it hasn’t really worked anywhere. Our advocacy has been for education, skills, entrepreneurship and employment based on merit,” Supriya Banerji, principal adviser to Confederation of Indian Industries on affirmative action.
Industry chamber Ficci says other support mechanisms, rather than reservation, should be the way forward. Education is key, as “students from backward classes are unwilling even to avail the quota in some government educational institutions because of the poor quality of education imparted”, a Ficci statement said.
Ficci has adopted a backward district Sonebhadra in Uttar Pradesh for skill development of the youth from backward classes.