New Delhi: Following a constitutional amendment by the Centre to implement 10 per cent reservation for economically backward amongst forward caste communities, Kerala cabinet on Wednesday amended the rules of Kerala State and Subordinate Services to implement EWS reservations.
NDA government brought in reservations for economically weaker sections (EWS) among general category in January 2019. The Centre assured that the quota for SC, ST and OBC communities shall not be affected. The move has been met with outrage from students, activists, and politicians across India.
"The Sinho Commission, claimed to be the basis for bringing the constitutional amendment granting reservation for EWS, never recommended reservation based on economic backwardness for admission to educational institutions and employment. Instead, they recommended extending welfare measure for them," says Dhruba Jyoti Regon, Secretary of Assam Pradesh Youth Congress State Committee.
"The existing system which contradicts the cap of 50 per cent on reservations by the Supreme Court poses danger to the existent reservations for SC, ST and OBC. The reservation extended to SC, ST and OBC are not proportional to its population. The 50 per cent open category was an opportunity for the marginalized communities to compete and make a place in the mainstream but reserving 10 per cent for EWS has reduced the scope. Moreover, the income limit and property holding criteria to be eligible for the reservations has no rational," he adds.
"It would be a challenge for SC, ST and OBC if EWS is implemented here in Kerala for government jobs. Is there any historically persecuted community in EWS category? EWS is a poverty alleviation scheme that doesn't have any place in the reservation. Reservation is not for poverty eradication program," Rufus Sunny, a social justice activist shared his insights with Madhyamam.
"While the constitutional principle of reservation has been subverted and the socially mainstream elites are enjoying reservation benefits, the socially and economically backward Dalit Christian community is excluded from representation and distribution of resources. Therefore, the Cheramasambava Development society (CSDS) demands the implementation of a special reservation package for Dalit Christians. The Left government is eager to implement the BJP's golden favour at the Center before them," Renjith Raju, Cherama Sambhava Youth Federation Kerala state committee member told Madhyamam.
When 1000s of medical seats were denied to OBC category in Tamil Nadu, MP Dr Thol Thirumavalavan issued a statement demanding that the seats that were taken from the private and state government colleges into All India Quota (AIQ) must be considered as sponsored by the central government and these seats should be brought under the purview of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006. The health ministry should also compensate for all the seats the OBCs have lost so far by allocating extra seats to OBCs in the upcoming rounds, he added.