Thursday, January 5, 2012

[ZESTCaste] MPs renew demand with PM for SC/ST reservation in private institutions

5 Jan, 2012, 04.45AM IST, ET Bureau
MPs renew demand with PM for SC/ST reservation in private institutions

NEW DELHI: The recently created quota for minorities has given a
fillip to the demand for reservation for Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes in private educational institutions and government
establishments. The 165-member Forum of SC and ST parliamentarians has
taken up this demand with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The forum has urged the government to move ahead with the central
legislation, which would provide reservations for SC, ST and OBCs in
private or unaided institutions. Both the prime minister and human
resource development minister Kapil Sibal are understood to have
responded positively to the demand.

However, no clear time frame has been given. "At present, private
educational institutions are not required to give reservations to
students from disadvantaged sections. We have appealed to the prime
minister to implement the 93 {+r}{+d} Constitution Amendment in
totality," J Seelam, the forum's secretary general, said.

The 93 rd Constitution amendment, which resulted in the insertion of
Clause (5) in Article 15, gives the government the right to make
special provisions for the advancement of socially and educationally
backward classes of citizens or for SCs/STs. It is argued that the
amendment was introduced to counter the Supreme Court judgement
striking down all reservations, including for SCs/STs in unaided
educational institutions in the PA Inamdar case.

The HRD ministry, then headed by the late Arjun Singh, had prepared a
draft legislation in 2006 to extend reservation to private
institutions under the provisions of the newly-inserted Article 15 (5)
of the Constitution. However, a group of ministers, which comprised
Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram, had called for wider consultations
before taking the legislation forward.

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