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Decks almost cleared for ST status to Paharis, raising reservation for OBCs

Decks almost cleared for ST status to Paharis, raising reservation for OBCs

Decks almost cleared for ST status to Paharis, raising reservation for OBCs

Commission submits interim, supplementary reports

After JK Govt, MHA nod; issue to go to Parliament

JAMMU, June 05 : Jammu and Kashmir Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Commission has submitted its interim and supplementary reports to the Government on reservations to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Paharis and inclusion of new areas and castes in the OBC category.

A final call is now expected to be taken shortly by the Jammu and Kashmir Government followed by the Union Home Ministry after which the issue of reservations will go to the Parliament.

While there were no official comments, reliable sources said that many new areas and castes are understood to have been included in the OBC category. 

The Paharis are likely to get the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status which will make them eligible for political reservations too as the Delimitation Commission has reserved 10 per cent seats in the Legislative Assembly of 90 constituencies for STs.

“Final report is yet to be given by the Commission which was set up in March 2020 with two-year term to finalize recommendations. However, it has submitted an interim and supplementary report to Jammu and Kashmir Government,” sources said.

The Commission is headed by Justice (Retired) GD Sharma and comprised Rup Lal Bharti and Munir Khan as Members.

Presently Other Social Castes (OSCs) have just four percent reservations in Jammu and Kashmir. The reservations were two percent earlier and were raised to four percent later. 

However, the OBCs have been demanding raising their reservations at par with Centre and other States as Jammu and Kashmir is now Union Territory and its special status have been scrapped.

“Reservations for OBCs are likely to be recommended substantially on higher side by the Commission,” sources said, adding the Panel could also recommend grant of ST status to Paharis, thus, making them eligible for political reservations.

The Delimitation Commission has reserved nine seats for STs in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. And if the Paharis are granted ST status, they will become eligible to contest the seats reserved for STs across the Union Territory.

Senior BJP leaders from Jammu and Kashmir besides Union Ministers have promised political reservations to the Paharis, who have substantial presence in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region and Kupwara and Baramulla districts in the Kashmir valley besides other areas of the Union Territory.

The Jammu and Kashmir Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Commission was tasked to examine the social and educational backwardness of various backward classes people besides those of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

It is being administered by the Social Welfare Department.

Terms of reference of the commission include determining the criteria to be adopted in considering any section of the people in Jammu and Kashmir as socially and educationally backward class.

Paharis already enjoyed four percent reservations in the Government jobs and professional educational institutions which was granted to them post abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir and conversion of erstwhile State into two Union Territories 
of J&K and Ladakh.

A formal announcement of reservation was made on January 30, 2020 when Girish Chandra Murmu was Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory.

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