Will India‘s employment quota extend to private sector?

Mar 24, 2016, 08:23 am

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Indian govt. minister asked the industry to voluntarily give reservation to the weaker sections.
Photo of Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan./ Photo: Paswan's Twitter

By Ha Man-joo, India correspondent, AsiaToday - An Indian minister asked the BJP-led government to take affirmative action and reserve jobs for SC/STs in the private sector, reported an Indian media outlet on Wednesday.

Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, said that if the industry voluntarily give reservation to SC/STs, the weaker sections, particularly Dalits, SCs and STs, claiming that it can control Naxalism.

Naxalites are members of the Communist guerrilla groups in India that are considered supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology. Approximately 20,000 armed-cadre Naxalites are operating in 20 states of India, mainly in northeastern and western regions. Minister Paswan is the chief of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), a state political party in the state Bihar, where the influence of Naxalites still remains.

Minister Paswan said that reservation in private jobs will help cool down anger among vulnerable youths from SCs and STs, who are taking to the extremist ideology.

Responding to whether the government will take up this issue with industry, he said, "Our party maintains that there should be reservation in private jobs. It is a different matter whether this is done through law or companies do it through their affirmative action. I feel the industry should come forward on its own and play an affirmative role."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the foundation stone laying ceremony ofthe Dr. BR Ambedkar National Memorial, in New Delhi on March 21./ Photo: IndianMinister's Office

Caste-based reservation has been at the centre of a nationwide debate since Indian independence. Since 1950, India has been practicing a quota system for SCs and STs in universities and civil services. Reservation to the SCs, STs and OBCs in case of direct recruitment on all India basis by open competition is given at the rate of 15%, 7.5% and 27% respectively. That means nearly 50% of public jobs are reserved.

The problem is that the caste groups that do not belong to the OBCs are often making bloody situations, demanding job quota benefits. The Jats of Haryana in February 2015 and the Patidar of Gujarat in August 2015 help protests to get themselves included in the OBC category, taking away nearly 10 and 19 people's lives.

As a result, voices claiming that the quota system should be reviewed are rising. However, extending the quota in private sector seems hard to be accomplished. In fact, Prime Minister Modi is making efforts to dispel concerns about reviewing the quota system since he took office in 2014.

PM Narendra Modi made it clear that his government will not allow any tightening of reserved jobs and college places for Dalits when he attended the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Dr. BR Ambedkar National Memorial in New Delhi on March 21. Accusing the opposition of "spreading untruths" that his government is not supportive of the country's most backward communities, the PM said, "There will be no dilution of reservation for the Dalits and downtrodden (castes)."

#India #quota #reservation #SCs #STs 
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