KAS reservation: Govt to revisit decision

Thiruvananthapuram:  The state government is set to revisit the pattern of reservation to Kerala Administrative Service (KAS).  The notified,  but yet to be implemented model of reservation to KAS has been under flak from minority and backward communities since it limited community reservation to only stream one, i.e. of open recruitment. 

Reservation was not applied to streams 2 and 3,  which are for gazetted officers and other government employees.  The notification issued in this regard considered the latter as 'by transfer' recruitments,  although selection is to be made through competitive test and interview process.

As per the latest move,  detailed discussions have been initiated to reconsider the reservation provisions.   There is reported consensus on applying reservation to scheduled tribes,  in the other of Other Backward Communities (OBC) the thinking is that there should be more detailed review.

There have been vocal and collectively aired opposition to the government's plan from backward communities,  which was more recently joined by Opposition parties.  Muslim organizations,  Latin Catholic Chucth,  reservation community front and several scheduled caste/tribe bodies approached the chief minister in person and asked the government to correct the decision.  Official response from the chief minister's office is  that the government decided to revisit the matter following several memoranda it received.   

Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC)  was about to issue the final notification  with the two streams kept outside the purview of reservation,  and submitted it to the government for final approval with some suggestions too.   But at the face of opposition,  government approval was kept on hold.  And now,  a decision has been taken to study afresh the various aspects of the matter.

In the original draft of special rules for KAS recruitment,  reservation was provided for in stream two,  but that too was deleted in the final round of discussions.  Madhyamam had highlighted the issue early on,   and later CPM's affiliate body Scheduled Caste Welfare council approached the chief minister,  which was followed by other organizations too.

The government had received even directives  from Scheduled Caste-Tribe Commission and Minority Commission that in all three streams of KAS reservation should be included.  The state's Law Secretary also had taken the same stance.  However,  based on the report of Advocate General,  the government reached a decision to exclude reservation for streams two and three,  thereby rejected all other reports.

The government's envisaged pattern to limit reservation to stream only was widely criticised as it would be amount to denying a large number of posts to the communities in question and would deprive them of the opportunity to qualilfy for IAS cadre. 

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