CM promises quota hike for STs

Proposal to increase reservation from 3 pc to 7 pc before Centre: Shettar

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Monday said the Karnataka government was making concerted efforts to increase the reservation for the Scheduled Tribes (STs), under which the Valmiki community is included.

Addressing the gathering at the Valmiki Jayanti celebration organised by the Social Welfare department at the Vidhana Soudha, Shettar said the proposal to increase the percentage of reservation for the STs was pending before the Centre and that Karnataka would push for its clearance.

The STs presently enjoy three per cent reservation. The demand is to increase this to seven per cent, based on the population.

Valmiki Bhavans

Shettar said the government was in the process of constructing 53 Valmiki Bhavans across the State at a cost of Rs 51 crore, while the one being constructed at Banashankari in Bangalore was nearing completion, he said.

He said the government was giving impetus to popularise Valmiki literature and that over 31,000 books on Ramayana had been freely distributed to schools and colleges by the Social Welfare department.

Shettar said the BJP government had substantially increased the budget for this community in the last four years.

Municipal Administration Minister Balachandra Jarkiholi said the Valmiki community was the fourth largest population in the State. The community people should take more interest in getting formal education, he said.

Social Welfare Minister A Narayanaswamy said the BJP government increased the grants for the welfare of the Valmiki community from Rs 300 crore to Rs 700 crore.

Apart from the reservation, the Valmiki community has urged the government to complete the construction of all Valmiki Bhavans soon. The other demands include setting up an ST Welfare department; reviving the ST Development Board and naming it after former law minister L G Havanur; opening a separate academy for the promotion of cultural activities of the STs; initiating stringent action against those who misuse the reservation policy.

The following persons belonging to the community were felicitated on the occasion, in recognition of their services to society: M Munishamappa, Dr C S Hanumanthappa, P Gokuldas, V N Girimallappa, Dr Brinda Devi, M Krishnaiah, G T Chandrashekarappa, Dr Bhimrao Basavani Gasti, Diyog B Siddi, Chandrakanth Rangannavar, Devendra Madhanavar, Dr Rajendra Yamanappa Sannakki, Gurunagoud Shivanagoud Patil. Prof Baragur Ramachandrappa was not present to receive the award.

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