Panel seeks public opinion on SC/ST quota hike

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The Justice Nagamohan Das Commission, which is looking into demands for increasing the SC/ST reservation in the state, has invited inputs from the public.

The government had constituted the commission in October to explore the various ways in which the demand for increasing SC/ST reservation in education and employment can be met.

The Commission, on Thursday, stated that the public may send in their opinions on the same, before December 10 to its address: Justice H N Nagamohan Das Commission, Kalyana Kendra, Yavanika Building, Social Welfare Department, Nrupathunga Road, Bengaluru - 560001.

The previous Congress-JD(S) coalition came under pressure to increase the reservation quota for ST community, especially the Valmikis, from 3% to 7.5%. 

However, such a move will exceed the 50% ceiling for reservations set by the Supreme Court.

The coalition government had tasked Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar to examine whether the state government could exceed the limit set by Supreme Court, or if it could alter the existing reservation ratio to stay within the 50% cap, or if it should constitute a commission.

Speaking to DH, former Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar said the 50% cap was not a Constitutional provision but a judicial decision and hence, the government could justify increasing the reservation by providing empirical data for its decision. The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had commissioned a socio-economic (caste) census in this regard. The findings have not been made public, Kumar added.

At present, Karnataka has 15% reservation for SC, 3% for ST and 32% for the other backward classes (OBC). The reservation is provided for 101 Scheduled Castes, 50 Scheduled Tribes and 207 OBCs including Muslims, Christians and Jains.

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