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Quotas: Govt to arrange panel to check standing of Scheduled Castes converts to Christianity and Islam

IN A transfer with far-reaching implications, the Centre is all set to represent a nationwide fee to check the social, financial and academic standing of members of Scheduled Castes, or Dalits, who transformed to religions aside from Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, The Indian Specific has learnt.

The proposal to arrange such a fee is being actively mentioned on the Centre, and a choice is prone to be taken quickly, it’s learnt.

Sources within the Ministry of Minority Affairs and the Division of Personnel and Coaching (DoPT) mentioned they’ve given the inexperienced sign for such a transfer. It’s learnt that consultations on the proposal are at the moment ongoing among the many ministries of Dwelling, Regulation, Social Justice and Empowerment, and Finance.

The transfer to arrange such a fee assumes significance within the wake of a number of petitions pending earlier than the Supreme Court docket searching for SC reservation advantages for Dalits who transformed to Christianity or Islam.

The Structure (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, below Article 341 stipulates that no individual professing a faith totally different from Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism may be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste. The unique order below which solely Hindus had been labeled as SCs was amended in 1956 to incorporate Sikhs, and in 1990 to cowl Buddhists.

On August 30, Solicitor Normal Tushar Mehta knowledgeable a Supreme Court docket Bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, and likewise comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Vikram Nath, that he would place on file the Authorities’s stand on the problem raised by the petitioners. The Bench granted the Solicitor Normal three weeks’ time and listed the matter on October 11.

“Solicitor Normal submits that he wish to place on file the present place/ stand on the problem in query which offers with the prayer for extension of declare of reservation from Dalit communities to different religions aside from those specified. On his request, three weeks’ time is granted. Realized counsels for the petitioners/ appellants state that they are going to file a response if any, inside per week thereafter,” the bench acknowledged.

The Indian Specific has learnt that the proposed fee might have three or 4 members with its chairman holding the rank of a Union Cupboard Minister — and a attainable timeframe of nicely over a yr to submit its report.

Aside from mapping the modifications in standing and state of affairs of Dalits who’ve transformed to Christianity or Islam, the proposed fee can even examine the influence of including extra members to the present SC record.

The problem is proscribed to Dalits since there isn’t a religion-specific mandate for STs and the OBCs. “The rights of an individual belonging to a Scheduled Tribe are impartial of his/her non secular religion,” states the DoPT web site. In addition to, following the implementation of the Mandal Fee report, a number of Christian and Muslim communities have discovered place within the Central or states’ lists of OBCs.

Among the many key advantages out there to the SC group is 15 per cent reservation for direct recruitment in Central authorities jobs with 7.5 per cent for STs and 27 per cent quota for OBCs.

The query of SC reservation advantages for Dalits who transformed to primarily to Christianity or Islam have come up earlier than earlier governments, too.

In October 2004, the then UPA Authorities headed by Dr Manmohan Singh constituted the Nationwide Fee for Non secular and Linguistic Minorities, headed by former Chief Justice of India Justice Ranganath Misra, to suggest measures for the welfare of socially and economically backward sections amongst non secular and linguistic minorities.

In Could 2007, the Ranganath Misra Fee submitted its report, recommending that SC standing be utterly delinked from faith and be made religion-neutral like STs. The then UPA Authorities didn’t settle for the advice on the grounds that it was not substantiated by area research.

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Individually, a examine commissioned by the Nationwide Fee for Minorities in 2007 concluded that Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims should be accorded SC standing. That discovering, too, was not accepted on the grounds that it was primarily based on minuscule pattern sizes that might have led to unreliable estimates.

Sources within the Ministry of Minority Affairs mentioned the most recent proposal to arrange a fee was necessitated by the pondering that whereas the problem is of prime significance, there isn’t a definitive knowledge out there to check its numerous sides and arrive at a transparent place.

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