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KAS reservation denial ignored Law Secretary's recommentaion

KAS reservation denial ignored Law Secretarys recommentaion

Thiruvananthapuram: The decision of Kerala government to move ahead with Kerala Administrative Service (KAS) recruitment without community reservation in two out of its three streams, is learned to be disregarding the recommendation of Law Secretary and the Scheduled Caste Commission.

The decision is likely to turn a blow to Scheduled Caste/Tribe candidates, with less chances for them to make it in those categories competing against open candidates within the service.

Based on media complaints about the loss of reservation to the backward communities, Law Secretary had examined the matter and recommended rejecting the proposal in its current form, and asked for applying job quota in all streams.

As per the current draft rules, out of the three streams, one is for direct selection from open category. The second and third are reserved for existing government empoyees from gazetted and non-gazetted categories. The government decision is to treat the last two promotion cadre by transfer, and it is taking speedy action for recruitment to start as soon as possible.

The original draft of KAS recruitment guidelines had reservation for second tier. But in the final draft that also was set apart for open selection alone.

The argument put forward in favour of the government stand is that those from promotion category had already come through reservation cadres, and therefore cannot be given the benefit of reservation again. The Law Secretary and Scheduled Cast Corporation were in favour of applying reservation to both streams. But Advocate General alone took the stand that it should be by transfer and therefore without reservation.

Thus the fact that KAS is a new cadre and all posts were filled through competitive examinations was not heeded. In normal promotions, it is the Department-level Promotion Committee (DPC) that approves promotion in which seniority is also considered. However, in KAS it is all based on competitive examinations. In addition, posts that were accessible to scheduled castes and backward communities, were transferred to KAS, thus KAS becoming detrimental to adequate representation of such communities in civil service.

Unless they are given an opportunity to compete under or internal recruitment mode with quota, such candidates will find it difficult to enter KAS. Law Secretary pointed out that Stream Two and Three also had competitive examinations, but the only difference was that it was limited to government employees.

As things stand, existing government employees will have to resign their posts in order to be eligible for these streams. But Law Secretary's report is said to have highlighted that this provision will not hold in law courts.

If these categories were to be seen as 'By transfer', there would not be competitive examinations. They are appointed on merit cum ability basis where seniority is also considered. And KAS will not prepare a list as done by DPC for its select list. Law Secretary had drawn attention to this difference too.

Currently out of 100 posts, scheduled castes will get six. If they are excluded from two streams, this will get reduced to 2 out of 100. In fact they can be allowed reservation in By Transfer and Promotion categories also. Law Secretary's report also cites Supreme Court judgements which say that if adequate representation does not exist, for promotion posts also reservation can be applied.

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