No consensus on quota in private sector: Gehlot
Hinting that the issue of implementing caste-based reservation in private sector is likely to remain undecided, Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on Saturday said the stakeholders involved were yet to reach a consensus on the contentious topic.india Updated: Apr 16, 2017 00:14 IST
Hinting that the issue of implementing caste-based reservation in private sector is likely to remain undecided, Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on Saturday said the stakeholders involved were yet to reach a consensus on the contentious topic.
“A committee set up by the government is asking the private companies to create an atmosphere for extending reservation to the private sector. It will be done only if there is consensus,” the minister for social justice and empowerment (SJE) said while addressing a press conference to highlight the achievements of his ministry ahead of the third anniversary of Modi government’s tenure.
The issue of extending caste-based reservation to the private sector has been hanging fire for over a decade. A high-level coordination committee was constituted in October 2006 with an aim to carry forward the dialogue with the industry on affirmative action, including reservation in private sector.
The minister added that the central government had not received any proposal from the Telangana government to increase reservations for Muslims and Scheduled Tribe (ST) members in educational institutions and workplaces in the state.
The 68-year-old BJP leader also ruled out the possibility of state governments having the power to expand the reservation list to include more castes in the OBC, SC and ST lists without getting a go-ahead from Parliament. He said a well laid out process needs to be followed for inclusion of new castes in the list of quota beneficiaries.
“When a state sends a proposal, we send it to the Registrar General of India (RGI), if they give consent to include the caste in the beneficiaries list, it is then sent to the respective commissions (SC or ST) from there for cabinet approval and finally to Parliament for its consent,” the minister said.
Minister of state for SJE, Ramdas Athawale, specified that there are several Muslim castes that have already been included in the list of OBC beneficiaries based on the Mandal report.
Gehlot said any decision to expand the OBC list, as has been demanded by the Jats in Haryana and Patidars in Gujarat, has been put off until the new National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) is set up.
The government introduced a bill for giving constitutional status to the NCBC, which was passed by Lok Sabha, but has been sent to a select committee after it failed to get support in the Rajya Sabha. If the NCBC gets off the ground, then the Parliament will have the right to include or delete castes from the OBC list.