Minority backward quota on cards

Centre may fall back on Ranganath Misra Report

While the demand for reservation from minorities is increasing and the Supreme Court decision may benefit  them, the Union government may explore the option to offer it though not community-wise.

The Centre, if it decides to give a green signal to religion-based reservation, will not say so because there is no Constitutional backing for it at the moment.

However, the backward classes from among minority communities can be given quota like it is being done in the case of SC, ST and OBCs. That’s also what the apex court decided on Thursday although it has sent the issue to a larger Constitution bench which will take up the issue in August.

“At present, it is the state lists which have been adopted by the Centre while extending reservations to SC, ST and OBCs. The same will have to be done in case of backwards among the minorities too if the government wants to extend this to the entire country,” senior official sources said.

Lack of data

The Centre did so because of lack of proper data on backward classes, for the last caste-based census was held way back in 1931 and the Mandal report on OBCs was based on that.

The issue may force the government to act fast on the Ranganath Misra report which has recommended reservation for minorities.

The Commission had suggested 10 per cent reservation in government jobs for Muslims and another 5 per cent for other minorities, and favoured Scheduled Caste status in all religions.

In effect, they may be called Dalit Muslims, Dalit Christians, etc.
About the possibility of the government falling back on the Misra report, Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, speaking to Deccan Herald, pointed out that it was still being studied by the government. “It has not been discussed in the cabinet.”

It the government goes strictly by the Misra report, it may cut into the quota of SC,ST;  for, the total reservation has to remain within the 50 per cent ceiling fixed by the apex court.

The SCs currently enjoy 15 per cent and STs, 7.5 per cent quota now.

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