Dalit, Tribal MPs eye private campus quota
BASANT KUMAR MOHANTY
New Delhi, Dec. 27: An association of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled
Tribe MPs has appealed to the Prime Minister to bring a law to allow
student quotas in private institutions.
The 165 parliamentarians, who form the Forum of SC and ST
Parliamentarians, want the government to heed the 93rd amendment to
the Constitution Act. Six years ago, the government had brought the
amendment to provide reservation to students of SCs and STs and other
backward classes (OBCs) in educational institutions, including those
in private sector.
A separate law was passed to bring into force the reservation system
in central institutions, but regarding private institutions no law
"The private educational institutions are not giving reservation to
students from disadvantaged sections, though the 93rd constitutional
amendment provides for it. We have appealed to the Prime Minister to
implement the 93rd constitutional amendment in totality," J. Seelam,
the secretary general of the forum, said.
Through the 93rd amendment, a clause was inserted in Article 15. The
new clause says nothing in this article "shall prevent the state from
making any special provision, by law, for the advancement of any
socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the
Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes in so far as such special
provisions relate to their admission to educational institutions
including private educational institutions".
It adds that such institutions may be "aided or unaided by the state,
other than minority educational institutions".
The forum members met Manmohan Singh early this month. "The Prime
Minister has assured us that the demand would be considered," Seelam
When Kapil Sibal took over as human resource development minister in
May 2009, he told reporters that the bill providing for reservation in
private institutions would be brought after consensus among
stakeholders. The ministry, it seems, has not taken any step in this
The forum members also met Sibal. They also demanded reservation for
SC and ST students in the branches of foreign universities in India.
The government has introduced a bill in Parliament to allow the entry
of foreign educational institutions. These institutions are exempt
from the government's reservation policy because they are being
treated as private institutions.
Seelam said: "If the law is enacted to provide reservation in private
institutions, it will automatically apply to the foreign
The forum has also demanded for provision of representation from SC
and ST communities in future higher education tribunals.
The forum also told Sibal that a bill should be brought to check
harassment of SC and ST students and cases of discrimination against
them on campus.
A HRD ministry official said the representation of the forum is under
consideration of the ministry.
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