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Government consults CMs on OBC reservation
Implementation in unaided institutions
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
The government finds itself on a sticky wicket so far as implementing quotas in unaided institutions of higher education are concerned.

With as many as three cases pending in the courts against the decision to include unaided institutions in the quota ambit, the process will be no cakewalk.

At the two-day meeting with chief ministers that began here yesterday the government is thrashing out the issue to reach a consensus on extending quotas to unaided institutions.

“Though the government has announced that the reservation for the OBCs will be included in all unaided institutions, it now faces a tough situation. Some institutions have gone to the Supreme Court seeking a reprieve,” said sources.

The process of implementing reservation in these unaided institutions is all set to become a long- drawn battle.

Many states have disagreed to keep the “creamy layer out” of the reservation umbrella. They have pointed out that it is students from the “creamy layer” who make it to IITs and IIMs through the quota and if they are barred, filling the seats meant for reserved categories would become difficult.

This argument notwithstanding Kerala stood its ground on “keeping the creamy layer out”. At the meeting, Kerala proposed retaining the left-over reserved seats for OBCs.

“There are cases in the Supreme Court against the 93rd Amendment. Even the unaided institutions are clearly divided on the issue of reservation. Then there are states like Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh that want the reservation in one go and even in minority institutions,” sources said.

It was pointed out that with no political faction ready to oppose quotas, the Bill on reservation in unaided institutions that will be placed in the winter session of Parliament is , however, expected to be passed without any opposition.

“It is a battle that is now being fought in the courts,” sources pointed out.

Earlier, the Supreme Court issued notices to the Tamil Nadu Government and the Centre on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the 93rd amendment enabling state governments to provide reservation in the private educational institutions.

“Though in the P. A. Inamdar case, a seven-judge Bench of the apex court had abolished quota in all unaided educational institutions and said such institutions would have autonomy in the matter of admission of students, the government sought a way out by bringing in the 93rd constitutional amendment to enable the Centre and the state to pass necessary laws providing for quotas in such institutions as per their needs.

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SC ruling on creamy layer retrograde, says Left
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
The creamy layer in SC/ST debate ignited by the Supreme Court evoked sharp criticism from several parties across the political spectrum, who termed the ruling as a “very retrograde” step.

In a harsh criticism, the CPI said the ruling was a “very retrograde” move and sought the intervention of Parliament to “reverse this distressing trend”.

”It is a judicial assault on the most oppressed sections of our society. If it is not reversed, it will tremendously impact in scuttling and eventually dismantling the whole objective of affirmative action and the goal of education and employment for all”, the party’s Central Secretariat said in a statement here.

CPM Politburo said “the Constitution has no provision for creamy layer within the scheduled castes and tribes precisely because of the compelling realities of their socio-economic oppression and exploitation. It is unfortunate that the court has ignored the social reality while pronouncing judgement on such a vital issue”.

Stressing the supremacy of Parliament in governance, making laws and policies, the CPI said, “How long reservation is to last has to be decided on objective assessment of the results of affirmative action by policy-makers and not adjudicated upon in advance by the apex court”.

TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu said the apex court had erred in adopting the creamy layer criteria in SC/ST and OBC category. The depressed sections of society could not be considered only on the economic criteria alone. They are backward socially, educationally and culturally. “So, the creamy layer criterion is not acceptable to us,” he said.

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