Central govt to introduce Equal Opportunity Bill

Draft based on reservation model in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu

Salman Khurshid

Khurshid said his party was committed to replicating for the entire country the Karnataka-Kerala-Tamil Nadu model of reservation for the educationally and economically backward minorities.

“Our government is committed to reservation for the backward sections among the minority communities following the Karnataka-Kerala-Tamil Nadu model,” Khurshid told reporters here.

“However, given the fact that the reservation issue in Andhra Pradesh is stuck with the Supreme Court, we have to find out a sustainable model, which would be approved of by the judiciary,” he said. 

Khurshid, also minister of corporate affairs, said the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) would begin prosecution into the Satyam scam this month.

“During this month, the SFIO will begin the prosecution on those or those areas of company laws that the SFIO is expected to and have been authorised to proceed with,” he said.

Dismissing the “Vande Mataram” controversy as a “non-issue,” Khurshid said Jamiat-Ulama-e-Hind had wasted their time passing the resolution issuing fatwa against the National Song.

Khurshid said a group of Ministers would deliberate on the draft Equal Opportunity Commission Bill before sending it to the Cabinet. The rules and regulations mentioned in the Bill would also be applicable to the private sector.

In the beginning, the Bill would focus on the twin issues of education and employment and would intervene when the “aspirational diversity” would not be reflected in any institution.

On the policy of affirmative action to be followed by the corporate world, Khurshid said his ministry would consider a proposal of financing the training cost for those from underprivileged groups who might be given employment by the companies.

It was precisely for this reason that the “Corporate India Week, 2009,” to be celebrated next month, would be given a theme on inclusive growth, he said.

Khurshid claimed that the number of scholarships provided to the minority students rose to 29 lakh this year from six lakh lastyear. The next year’s target has been fixed at 50 lakh.

The government has decided to give 725 scholarships to PhD scholars among the minorities from this financial year and has allocated a fund of Rs 8 crore for a new scheme to encourage entrepreneurship among minority women.

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