SC/ST Reservation Bill – A discussion
Posted by samathain on March 4, 2009
Controversial SC/ST Reservation Bill 2008 sought to remove reservation for SC/ST faculty in 47 institutes. Thanks to the protest by dalit organisations and many MPs, discriminatory clauses from the act were amended. This raises the important question of why media was not aware of what was coming ? There should have been sufficient discussion before trying to pass the bill. Who authored the bill ? Why it was sought to be passed within 18 minutes. Bill actually violated constitution. Who did the legal review ? These thoughts are disturbing. We would like answers for the above.
On the positive note, dalit MPs managed to get the discriminatory clauses removed through amendment. Thanks to upcoming Lok Sabha elections, nobody is ready to oppose this. BSP MPs were instrumental in stalling the bill.
Related links on this bill :
- SC/ST Bill as passed originally in Rajya Sabha
- Tabular Amendment 1 to the Bill
- Tabular amendment 2 to the Bill
- Suggested IIT Reservation
- IIT SC/ST Bill
- IIT Reservation extract
All the below discussions are from Dalit Conference .
My thoughts on quota system AND its impact.
Generally, the upper caste do NOT acknowledge the value of many different tools to address the inequality of Indian Society. It is one-dimensional analysis to say development will solve all problems. Yes, development is creating lots of jobs, where you don’t need quota or bribes to get job. That is excellent. That is good news for the poor also. But, that is NOT enough. It is helping predominantly the urban educated. Let us NOT forget that.
Our leaders created mixed economy ( with both public and private sector participation) for a reason. They recognized the weaknesses of private sector only model. They introduced quotas (with a cap of 50%) in government jobs; But, allowed the private sector to function independently. Anybody who tried to get a job in a private enterprise 25 years ago would know that you needed to be in the right caste or right network or right circle. Its only the entry of multinational companies and the return of NRIs (who enjoyed the benefits of equal opportunities abroad) that we see less discrimination in the private sector. Still, it is difficult for a Dalit or a Muslim to get jobs in many sectors (if they don’t hide their caste or religion). Muslims are at a disadvantage here, because it is very difficult to hide one’s religion.
Quotas in government jobs has helped the Dalits and OBCs to get a share of employment opportunities. One should remember that Merit is not one-dimensional. It is not just academic performance. Diversity is a very important factor. In addition to addressing the social justice, quota also brings people from different segments of society to government service. Remember, the main function of government service is about addressing the needs of the poor in the society. Caste is the most important factor of economic level for most of the Indians. Rich interact with the government at a minimal level. So, these candidates from different quotas bring their knowledge of ground realities of the Indian society. Don’t mistake these people as less intelligent. They happen to be very bright who fight so many social and economic handicaps to come up in life. Their academic performance may be relatively poor. But, they are more qualified to serve the poor. If they had the same resources (books, schools, coaching, money, networks etc), they would have performed very well in academics too.
One gentleman made an observation that most of the so called meritorious candidates in government service are very likely to be corrupt. His observation was that most of those who came through the quotas were likely to be less corrupt. This person was very experienced and knew the practical world really well.
I have heard numerous times that Quotas are not helping the poor really. They are not looking at the number of people from poor background who gave hope to other less fortunate people in the villages, who inspired many of their relatives to dream big. There is lot of power to this idea that one can come up in-spite of poverty, one’s caste, social discrimination etc. It has helped to create leadership for these communities which was virtually non-existent few years before. Quota system has worked so well that OBCs demanded it. Now, one of the most prosperous community of Patels are demanding it.
We have many different quotas, not just the ones based on caste. We have quota for sports people; quota for the military people; quota for rural people; quota for the rich (payment seats); 100% quota for Brahmins in temple priest jobs; quota for the local MLAs; quota for the MPs; quota for freedom fighters; quota for the minorities (in their respective institutions); quota for the powerful (management seats); quota for the people in network (references in private sector; quota for NRIs; quota for the people in border areas etc. All these quotas are doing their job because our society is inherently unequal compared to any other country. It has kept the country together. Society has become more vibrant.
Even, in terms of recruitment in private sector, I have realized that I am more cost effective by choosing people from disadvantaged backgrounds if they have the basic skills right. They have performed better than people from prestigious institutes like IITs or NITs. I have hidden quota for these elite candidates. But, I have found the mix works great. I just need to train these candidates for few months. They have made me more successful. So, please don’t measure merit by only academic performance and interview skills. If you use these hidden quotas (based on disadvantage backgrounds) , you are more likely to find gems at cheaper cost.
I appreciate Tatas in this regard. They reserve a portion of their contracts for vendors from disadvantaged backgrounds. It has helped their bottom line. PSUs(Public Sector Units) have been forefront in implementing quotas and most of them are performing well in the stock markets. Tamilnadu has been very successful in delivering medical care to the rural parts because of the quotas. Whole of South India has implemented quotas more effectively than the north. Today, it is the South India that is the major attraction for investors. Diversity of human resources and the number of skilled resources is the main reason. If society was only focused on academic performance based merit, only few from the upper classes would have been skilled. quotas has helped in building a huge number of skilled resources in India. This is India’s strength in this globalized world. Far from ruining the country, our country has prospered. So, don’t say development is the only mantra. Investment is not the only requirement for development, but availability of skilled resources is even more important. People who are refusing to acknowledge the value of quotas are being short sighted.
Quota is one of the most effective tools for Indian government to build skills on a large scale. Remember, these quotas that does not require wealth or connections is a major driving factor in increasing literacy rates because of the hope it generates in the minds of the disadvantaged. Society benefits indirectly by this large number of educated people. Remember, it is only the brightest among these who will get the government jobs. Ones who are less fortunate end up improving the quality in their respective occupations. This is the only way historic stagnation in the society could be removed. I have another way of explaining the importance of quotas and reservation. We have people suffering from all sorts of diseases. Government needs to come up with different schemes to fight this. It is NOT enough to have one scheme based on income levels. You need to target those with kidney problems differently. Those with Tuberculosis need to be handled with a different policy. Then, you have the AIDS patients. They face social stigma. They are highly vulnerable in society as well as jobs. It is very important for the whole society to have an effective mechanism to deal with these people. You can’t just turn blind eye to them. You can’t just wish them away. If you do, you will do it at your own peril. Government needs to come out with special schemes targeted towards these AIDS patients. Reservations and Quotas are similar tools to remove the harsh inequalities of Indian society.
General community who don’t come under any quota should recognize that they are eligible for a hidden quota of (50% of government jobs + 100% of private sector jobs). That’s huge. Come on, don’t be greedy !!!
Friends, fight for the quotas. We don’t have a level-playing field in India.
Source: Karthik Navayan
*SC/ST Reservation Bill-2008 – An instrument to make Institute of National Importance to Peethas of Sankracharyas*
*Existing Policy in Central Universities and IITs: *SC/ST reservation is applicable to all teaching posts in Central Universities and deemed Universities [MHRD Order 6-30/2005 U-5 dated 06.12.2005] and to Assistant Professors in IITs.**
*SC/ST Reservation Bill-2008: *No reservation for SC/ST in teaching posts in higher education (section-4), i.e. end of the above existing policy. * *
*Consequences: *One day Govt. of India will declare the Parliament an Institute of National Importance and therefore no SC/ST MP. One day Govt. of India will declare the Primary Schools an Institute of National Importance and therefore no SC/ST teacher in School. * * * *
*Demand: *Remove the section 4 from the Bill. We want representation only, not relaxation. So, plz oppose the Bill in Lok Sabha.
The proposed features like section 4 under ‘The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill 2008’. According to Art 16
(1) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State..
(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State.
If central government wants to enact a law to discriminate SC/ST faculties in public institutions, government needs to amend the Art.15, Art 16 and all other basic structure of Constitution. Such amendment is not possible under the constitutional law of the Indian nation.
(2) provides for the protection of the fundamental rights of the citizen and change the basic structure of the constitution. Parliament and the state legislatures are clearly prohibited from making laws that may take away or abridge the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizen. According to Article 32 of the Constitution of India (COI), a Writ of mandamus can be issued by Supreme Court or High Court to the Central Government..
Please see 1,2,3, and 4 points I added (PFA) in appeal. Send this appeal to Chief Justice of India and parliamentarians
People in Delhi please seek help of constitutional expert…
Source: Lalith Khandare
Thank you all those who are putting their efforts for protesting against violation of our fundamental rights.
1. Why should this bill be placed in Loksabha when it is unconstitutional (see my email below and also the attachments), please seek opinion of constitutional expert on this.
According to Article 32 of the Constitution of India (COI), a Writ of mandamus can be issued by Supreme Court or High Court to the Central Government.
An advocate can file a petition for write with Supreme Court; number of legal petitions can be as many as possible. But there should be a strong advocate like advocate like Ram Jethmalani, Harish Salve or someone who has background of successful cases for SC/ST/OBC rights.
2. All students and faculties and all others please join this protest in your institutions and also
..I got this email from pardeep attri <firstname.lastname@example.org>
PROTEST AGAINST ACADEMIC UNTOUCHABILITY- Join the protest against the unconstitutional clauses in the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill 2008 that denies reservation to SC/STs Faculties in institutions of “national importance and excellence” at Jantar Mantar, Delhi on 4th February 2009
3. Nationwide organizational Federation of SC/ST faculties(longterm) – organize locally, statewise, and nationally. May be you send your contact details to Subhash Arya at email@example.com .
– Members on this forum, can contact faculties whosoever they know or at least faculties from their region or cities, to make them aware about this issue, get them connected at one places,
4. Friends you or your organization (Faculty Unions, etc) can edit this appeal(PFA) and give this appeal to your MP from you constituency by hand/fax/email/post or any other means.
If you are meeting/sending letters the MPs or representatives, possibly meet/send letters as an organization….
PMO http://www.sarkaritel.com/com/pmo.htm President http://www.sarkaritel.com/president/index.htm Ministers http://www.sarkaritel.com/com/index.htm Loksabha http://www.sarkaritel.com/parliament/lok_sabha/index.htm Rajsabha http://www.sarkaritel.com/parliament/rajya_sabha/index.htm
Source: Lalith Khandare
http://www.ngosindia.com/resources/pil.php http://www.articlesbase.com/national,-state,-local-articles/know-about-writ-to-protect-your-fundamental-rights-562688.html For lawyers – a writ format http://www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in/formats/writ%20format.pdf 1. Justice Mr. Balakrishnan Chief Justice of India Through the Office of the Registrar General Supreme Court of India 1 Tilak Marg, New Delhi INDIA Fax: 91 11 23383792 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker 17, Parliament House, New Delhi-110001 Tels. (011) 23017795, 23017914, Fax. (011) 23792927 Email : email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Parliament Committee on Welfare of SC/ST http://220.127.116.11/newls/percompmember.aspx?comcode=2
Source: KP Singh
Dear All, Jai Bheem! This is in reference to the ongoing discussion on reservation bill passed in Rajya Sabha on December 23rd 2008. Before we jump to any conclusion, we must go through the facts so that we could find an appropriate solution without wasting too much energy in rhetoric and bashing. The present bill has both- the merits as well as de-merits.
Merits: Prior this bill, we had no punitive clauses within the legal framework to punish the people who used the fake caste certificates, did not fill the reserved vacancies, or simply de-reserved the positions to benefit general castes etc. But now they will not be able to do so as law is going to be enacted to punish such culprits.
De-merits: This bill excludes our upcoming generations in all so called institutions of excellence or technical institutions. For this NO-ONE is to be blamed except our members of parliament in Rajya Sabha who did not even care to read or go through this and let it passed. Some say there few bills passed in 18 minutes on the last day of session and this was one of them. They did not get an opportunity look at it. Well, this is not an excuse. Thanks to the less cooperative media which brought this news and highlighted the gravity of problem. All members of Parliament in both houses are supposed to be vigilant when it comes to protect Dalits rights.
What we are doing now? As soon as the news was out, I and Professor Ramesh Chandra went to the National Commission of Scheduled Castes. Dr. Buta Singh, Chairman of NCSC was equally disturbed. However, Dr. Buta Singh immediately called an emergency meeting of commission members. We were also the participants. Dr. Buta Singh made conference calls to Mrs. Meira Kumar, Minister for Social Justice, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, and Minister for Steel, Professor B.L. Mungekar, Prof. S.K. Thorat and others. In the evening, I and Professor Chandra went to Mr. Paswan’s house where Professor Mungekar and P.S. Krishnan also joined. After brainstorming sessions, Professor Mungekar went to Arjun Singh for further protest and explanation. Later in the night we all met at Prof. Mungekar’s residence. It was decided that Professor Mungekar would draft an amendment to this bill and Mr. Paswan shall move bill for amendment in the Lok Sabha in upcoming session. Today a huge demonstration was being organized at the Janatar Mantar-Delhi by the Dalit professors from Delhi University to protest against the bill. I am attaching the copy of original bill for your references. Please go through carefully and let us know about expert opinion so that we could debate and have them included in the amended bill. Make sure your suggestions rationally suitable in a legal framework.
With best wishes Sincerely, Dr. KP Singh
Source: Arun Kumar I would like to congratulate and thank you for your efforts to rectify the mistake done by our politicians. I was baffled to read about this reservation bill. This is the same government which was talking about giving reservation to SC/STs in the private sector and made a big issue at the time of last election. Now they are the same people who have come up with the idea to exclude 47 Institutions of excellence for reservation. I blame all our people for this fiasco. We built up a momentum for empowerment of our people in the private sector during the International Dalit Conference held in Vancouver but unfortunately couldn’t sustain that momentum. Today nobody is talking about our fare share in the private sector. That is why so called upper caste nexus comes up with these ideas on the name of quality and efficiency. I am happy that academicians are demonstrating against this bill but we need to turn it into a mass movement. I request all Dalit brothers and sisters to come together and protest against this bill. BAMCEF can play a major role to mobilise the general public. Dr. Singh, Prof. Mungekar Prof. Thorat,Prof. Ramesh Chandra and others, you all are doing a marvellous work to bring an amendment in the bill and we wish you all the success. If anything we can do, please let us know.
Original Article about the Bill in Deccan Herald
Article that appeared in Deccan Herald, 6th February 2009
|Reservation for Dalits in varsities|
|By Ambrose Pinto|
|Dalits feel that while political reservation is extended easily, there is resistance in education.|
| The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have finally managed to get the Human Resource Development Ministry to drop its proposal to reserve posts for SCs, STs and OBCs in faculty recruitment. The faculty had vehemently opposed the circular of the Government of India, which reserved teaching posts in Central Universities and Deemed Universities for SCs/STs and assistant professors in IITs. The present bill titled “SC/ST Reservation Bill-2008”, removes reserving teaching posts for SCs/STs in the above institutions. The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill, 2008 moved by the Department of Personnel and Training in the Rajya Sabha in December 2008 has listed IITs among institutes of national importance which can be exempted from reservation of posts. The 47 institutes that will skip faculty reservation once the legislation gets Parliamentary approval include the seven older IITs, the seven IIMs, Aligarh Muslim University, Allahabad University and AIIMS. Also excluded from the faculty reservation ambit are 19 National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Banaras Hindu University, Delhi University, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, Visva Bharati in West Bengal, Victoria Memorial, National Library, Indian Museum — all in Kolkata, and the Indian War Memorial in New Delhi. The legislation is pending Parliamentary approval and exempts institutes of excellence from reserving posts and the IITs are among these. The Dalit groups are up in arms against the order.
There are three types of reservation in the Constitution for SCs/STs. The one considered most important is political reservation. The other two are reservations in educational institutions and employment opportunities. After every 10 years, the political reservation gets extended by amending Article 330 and 332. Through political reservation 119 members of the SC/ST community get elected to the Parliament and 1050 MLAs get elected to the state legislatures. Invariably, political reservation gets fully implemented while there has been resistance for the implementation of reservation in services and education. There are questions being raised by members of the Dalit community for the easy extension of political reservation and the reluctance to extend other kinds of reservation. They opine though there is no strong demand from society to extend political reservation, it is always extended without much pressure for it creates stooges, who can dance to the tunes of the political masters in different parties. The other issue about SC/ST reservations is that there are several constitutional provisions for reservations but hardly any executive orders with provision of punishment for non-implemention. There are various examples on how reservations have been sabotaged. Previously there was a vacancy-based roster, which benefited SC/ST/OBCs. In this system whatever the posts may be, they were divided as per reservation percentage meant for SC/ST/OBC and General. The system has changed into post-based roster system. In this system every post is assigned to particular category and for getting one SC seat, there should be at least eight seats of employment. Among eight seats, the seventh will be given to SC category and 13th one to ST category. If there are less than seven appointments at a time, not a single one is given to SCs/STs. The Dalits think that this is a conspiracy. Previously all the seven seats were distributed among SCs/ STs/OBCs and General group. But by this new roster system only general candidates benefit. Single post reservation has also been cancelled. The argument of the anti-reservationists have been that there are no candidates and the available candidates are not suitable. Dalits can fight their battle by filing a case in the Supreme Court, a decision the section of the Dalits have yet to arrive at. The second one is not to allow the bill to pass through the Lok Sabha. The other is what Ambedkar had instructed them, “My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organise. With justice on our side I do not see how we can loose our battle…For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is battle for freedom. It is the battle of reclamation of human personality.” It will depend on the choice Dalits make. (The writer is principal of St Joseph’s College, B’lore.)
Source: F H Jakkappanavar
I have been reading all your outbursts regarding the SCHEDULED CASTES AND SCHEDULED TRIBES ( Reservation in posts and services ) Bill 2008. The facts remain to be seen that we are not the openion makers and we simply allege as some one is responsible. Let us not blame MPs or MLAs of our community. Ultimately, we need their voice in Lokasabha to get our interest protected. What we need is, some one in Delhi take a lead to collect few MPs of our community, arrange them Lunch/Dinner and hand over them what we need modifications in the Bill. As I have been in the Labour movement, to my mind following suggestations would full fill our requirments. Let there be clarity that reservation for SC/ST is there in the matter of direct recruitment without restricting it lowest grade of Group A posts. It is against Article 16 (4A). Further, let there be spoken provision to provide reservation for SC/St in the matter of promotion upto any category or cadre where the promotions are made on the basis of seniority cum fitness. 1. Section 4 (iii) and (iv) need to be deleted 2. Section 4 (2) needs corrections- No institution under the control of Union Government and State Governments shall be excluded for not applying the rule of reservation. 3. Section 5 needs some corrections: There shall not restriction of pay or posts( Director in the Central Secretariat service) and seniority of all fit shall be prepared including the fit SC/ST who are senior enough to extend them this benefit which is called as ZONE OF CONSIDERATION. 4. Section 15: Delete the SUBJECT TO THE AVAILABILITY OF FINANCE AND OTHER RESOURSES 5.Section 16,17 & 18: The violators shall be booked under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe ( Preventio of Atrocities) Act 1989 and Rules 1995 Still more store is there in my mind- Let us have open debate that reaches the Desk of Parliament
Source: muniappa swamy
Source: SM Wasnik
Govt may consider amendments to SC/ST Bill Wed, Feb 18 02:51 AM After objections from the National SC Commission and some Dalit MPs to certain provisions in the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Reservation in posts and services) Bill, the Government on Tuesday indicated its willingness to look into their apprehensions when the Bill comes up before the Lok Sabha. Close on the heels of National SC Commission chief Buta Singh expressing reservations over the Bill, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha two months ago, CPI MP D Raja took up the issue with Social Justice Minister Meira Kumar at an informal meeting called by Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal. Raja’s basic objections, as that of Singh’s, are that the Bill exempts 47 national institutes, including IITs and IIMs, from reservations and stipulates that there shall be no reservation to posts qualified as scientific or technical posts. Besides Kumar, Union Ministers Sushil Kumar Shinde and Ram Vilas Paswan and MPs R K Naik and Ramdas Athawale also attended the meeting. “The National Common Minimum Programme of the UPA had mentioned reservation in the private sector and an intention to codify into law all reservation. And now they have taken away the existing reservation. The Bill in its present form is not acceptable,” Raja told The Indian Express. Sources said the Left parties would move amendments to the Bill when it comes up before the Lok Sabha and the Government is open to considering them.
Source: Giridhar Gajabe
Thank you for spreading the messages about the reservation bill 2008, The Section 4(1)(iv) is more imp. than the reservation to the 47 institutions of the national importance. The list may be increased or decreased as per the provision, but setion 4(1)(iv) will abolish the existing provision of the reservation to the post higher than the lowest rank of group ‘A’ to be filled by direct recruitment. The 85th Constitutional ammendment can also be violated with this provision. There are other provisions, which are also needs to be ammended. I have forwarded memorandum to the Hon’ble President of India and the MPs.
Source: Krishnan Madappa
Source: Times Of India
Maya stalled the reservation bill
LUCKNOW: Chief minister Mayawati on Friday patted her back for opposing the controversial Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (reservation in
posts and services) bill 2008, which she claimed eventually forced the union government to withdraw the proposed legislation.
The bill was to relax reservation rules for appointment of teachers in premier institutes like IITs. However, the CM described it as anti-Dalit and slammed all the political parties for not raising a voice against the bill. She said that it was because of BSP’s opposition, both inside and outside the Parliament, which stopped the government from getting the bill passed in a hushed manner.
Mayawati also said that her party MPs had requested LS Speaker Somnath Chaterjee to stop the bill from being passed as it was against the spirit of the Constitution which provided reservation to Dalits in government jobs and services. However, the Speaker did not pay attention to the demand, forcing BSP MPs to protest in the house, which led to adjournment and ultimately foiled the bid to get the legislation passed in a clandestine manner.
Meanwhile, state president of BSP in a statement slammed SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for criticising the government for spending money on constructing parks and statues. He said that no development work had been adversely affected by construction of parks and statutes.