The UT education and social welfare departments have locked horns over enhancement of reservation to Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the city's educational institutes.
According to norms, the percentage of reservation is determined on the basis of proportion of SCs in the state or UT concerned with that of the total population. According to Census 2011, the city has a total population of 10.55 lakh, of which around 1.90 lakh belong to the SC category.
Sources said decision to increase quota in proportion to the population of SCs in the city based on Census 2011 was taken last year, but could not be implemented as the academic session had already started.
In contrary to the decision, the UT finance-cum-education secretary revised the reservation from 14% to 15% to which the department of social welfare has strongly objected. The policy has been revised after a gap of 20 years. The last revision was done on May 7, 1993, on the basis of Census 1981.
Unhappy with the decision, the social welfare department has taken up the issue with the education department pressing to increase the reservation from 14% to 19%.
Director social welfare Rajesh Jogpal said they had received several representations from various associations of SCs, demanding enhancement of reservation to 19%.
There are a total of 106 government schools, five government colleges, one medical college and one dental institute in the city.
Justifying the move, UT finance-cum-education secretary Sarvjit Singh said there were no specific guidelines from the central government regarding giving reservation in admission on the basis of local population of SC.
However, he said they had written to the central government seeking clarification on the issue and will further enhance the reservation after getting approval.
According to sources, administration does not require approval from the Centre for increasing the reservation. The decision to increase reservation in 1993 was taken at the level of the UT adviser.
Earlier, the administration had failed to enhance the reservation from 14% to 18% in 2001 after Census data was released, depriving SC students of the benefit of reservation.