State told to increase ST job quota to 6.5 per cent

 The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, on Friday, directed the State government to increase the quota of reservation in employment for Scheduled Tribes (STs) to 6.5 per cent from the present 3 per cent in the State.

Addressing the media, the Commission Chairperson Rameshwar Oraon said it is mandatory for all states to fix the quota in proportion to the population. “Though STs constitute 6.5 per cent of the total population of Karnataka, the quota is fixed at 3 per cent. Karnataka is the only State in the country not to provide quota to STs in employment as per the population figures,” he added.

He was speaking after reviewing steps taken by the State government for the welfare of STs. Besides, members of the Commission had recently visited tribal areas in Bellary and Mysore districts to get the first hand information on their living condition.

Oraon further said the State government has failed to allocate adequate funds to the development of tribal areas in the annul budgets. The budgetary allocation should also be in proportion to the population. But the government has been allocating an average of 3.86 per cent (of its plan size). “As a result, there is a huge gap between STs and others in terms of development. We have urged the State government to allocate more money,” he stated.

The State has not made much progress in implementing the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

The Commission has received complaints of forest department officials resisting utilization of minor forest produces by tribals. The Chief Secretary S V Ranganath has been directed to take necessary step in this regard, the Chairperson said. The Commission, however, hailed the State government for providing quality education and healthcare to STs in the State.

“Performance of students at Morarji Desai Residential schools is very good. In fact, the standard of education at these schools is much better compared to anywhere in the country,” Oraon said.

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