Cabinet secy sends back Mandal-II proposal | india | Hindustan Times
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Cabinet secy sends back Mandal-II proposal

IN AN unexpected move prompted by the Election Commission's intervention in the matter, the Cabinet Secretariat has returned the HRD Ministry's controversial proposal for reservation for OBCs in central educational institutions with the advice that it be run through the poll panel as it happens to be election time.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2006 13:42 IST

IN AN unexpected move prompted by the Election Commission's intervention in the matter, the Cabinet Secretariat has returned the HRD Ministry's controversial proposal for reservation for OBCs in central educational institutions with the advice that it be run through the poll panel as it happens to be election time.

The ministry's draft bill, accompanied by a cabinet note, said the 93rd constitutional amendment — envisaging quotas for social and educational backward classes — be extended to educational institutions under the Centre.

The Cabinet Secretariat's move appears to be a damage-control exercise aimed at buying time to address popular concerns while showing respect for the EC.

But for HRD Minister Arjun Singh, the development looks a bit of a let-down, more so because of the swagger with which he had responded to the EC's queries on the issue.

In his reply, Singh had told the EC that the proposal to extend reservation to all central educational institutions was ready for the cabinet's consideration. Against this backdrop, the Cabinet Secretariat's action has rendered his position a bit untenable.

After there were reports that his office had returned the proposal to the ministry, Cabinet Secretary B.K. Chaturvedi told HT that no decision had been taken and no such proposal was before the cabinet.

Principal Information Officer Deepak Sandhu too said no HRD Ministry proposal on reservation was before the cabinet.

Sunday Arjun Singh told EC the proposal to extend reservation to all central educational institutes was ready for cabinet's consideration
Monday Cabinet secretary said no decision had been taken, no such proposal before cabinet