With many communities seeking reservation in government jobs and admissions to educational institutions, the Karnataka Cabinet on Wednesday decided to set up a high-level committee headed by a retired High Court judge to study demands made by communities/castes seeking changes in the existing quota matrix.
The three-member committee will also have a retired administrator and a social scientist. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has been empowered to appoint members of the panel, Minister for Home, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Basavaraj Bommai told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
“Reservation is a challenging issue. We require experts’ opinion. This committee will look into current demands and possible future demands,” the Minister said.
The Cabinet decision would help the government to not only pacify the agitating communities, but also buy time on the issue.
Other Cabinet decisions
- ₹18.5 crore for installation of CCTV cameras in 281 police stations
- Revised pay scale for clerical and lower rank staff in lower courts
- ₹59 crore to set up a hostel in Bengaluru for Kalyana Karnataka region students
- ₹18.4 crore for civil court in Bangarpet in Kolar district
- ₹457 crore for filling 17 tanks in Maski taluk of Raichur district
While leaders of the Kuruba community have held rallies seeking the Scheduled Tribe tag, seers and leaders of Panchamasali Lingayat community took out padayatra to Bengaluru demanding reservation under category 2A of the OBC list. Panchamasali Lingayat community’s demand has been referred to the State backward classes commission. An anthropological study is under way to look into the Kuruba demand.
“When we look at all these demands, the overall quota will exceed the 50% ceiling mandated by the Supreme Court. In instances where some States have proposed to exceed this cap, the apex court has given stay orders or has rejected such decisions,” Mr. Bommai said.
Currently, the State provides 32% reservation for OBCs, 15% for SCs and 3% for STs, totalling to 50%. The H.N. Nagamohan Das Commission had recommended to the government to increase reservation for SCs from 15% to 17% and STs from 3% to 7.5%.
Mr. Bommai said the Veerasahaiva-Lingayats and Vokkaligas have also been demanding inclusion of their communities in the Union list of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) to get benefits in Central government jobs and educational institutions.
On November 27, 2020, the Cabinet deferred a decision on recommending to the Centre the inclusion of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community in the Union list of OBCs, apparently under the pressure from the Centre as well as some Cabinet Ministers. Currently, Veerashaiva-Lingayat and Vokkaliga communities, politically dominant in the State, are included in the Karnataka’s OBC list.
The Cabinet scrapped a programme of providing ₹5,000 incentive for government servants who attain computer literacy, since many people with computer literacy join service now.
It was decided that AICTE pay scale would be given for faculty members of AYUSH colleges in the State.
The Cabinet decided to amend the Karnataka Maritime Board to nominate the Chief Minister as its chairman instead of the Chief Secretary. The Minister for Ports would be the deputy chairman, Mr. Bommai said.