Monday, July 22, 2024

Ex-MLA opposes tweak in job quota


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TURA, June 18: The opposition to the constitution of an Expert Committee to review the Meghalaya Job Reservation Policy continues with former South Tura MLA, John Leslee K Sangma on Tuesday asserting that the existing quota of 40% each for Khasi-Jaintia and Garo communities should not be disturbed.
“The Garos were generously given 40% of the opportunity for employment in the government services by the framers of the policy but we have never enjoyed its full benefit in the last 52 years. Data show 66.5% of the government employees today are from the Khasi-Jaintia community while the Garos are at 33.5%,” he said.
The figures reveal that the Garos have been marginalised although both communities have 40% reservation on paper, he said.
Sangma strongly opposed the demand of certain politicians and individuals for a review of the job quota policy of 1972 on the basis of population, terming it “illogical and totally unconstitutional”.
He referred to claims that the policy was said to have been framed in pursuance of Clause 4 of Article 16 of the Constitution of India, which says: “Nothing in this article shall prevent the state from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the state, is not adequately represented in the services under the state.” “It is on the basis of this provision that I say that the Garos who have not been able to come up to be on a par with the Khasis and the Jaintias need the protection of the reservation of opportunities in government services more than ever. Two conditions enshrined in the Constitution for any state government to make reservation for its citizens are the backward class of citizens and those not adequately represented in the services in the state,” he said.
“If there is to be any review in the job reservation policy of Meghalaya, the review should be on the justification of continuation of the reservation and whether any of the communities enjoying reservation fulfils the criteria of being backward and is also inadequately represented in the government services as laid down in the Constitution,” he added.
Sangma felt that status quo should be maintained in the interest of all communities as well as to maintain peaceful co-existence. He suggested that the roster system be made more transparent and put on a public domain for easy access and knowledge of all the communities involved.
He appealed to the Expert Committee to intimate or announce the date for public hearing in all the district headquarters of the Garo Hills at least a week ahead to enable people to attend productively.


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