Reservation quotas tweaked; Paharis get 4%, EWS 10%, RBA halved to 10%

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/31/2020 10:23:43 AM Front Page

Total reservations in direct recruitments go up to 60%

JAMMU: In an effort to rationalise the existing policy after the erstwhile State went under constitutional changes August 5 last year, the Jammu and Kashmir government has tweaked the reservation quotas in direct recruitment and admission and distribution of seats in professional institutions for different classes and communities, with the Pahari Speaking People (PSP) included in the list, along with Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and a marginal increase to some other categories as well.
While their demand for inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes was not met, around 10 lakh PSP residing in the region will now be granted 4% reservation courtesy their inclusion in the category of socially and educationally backward classes, even as the total reservations in the direct recruitments has now gone up to 60% from earlier 52%, with the percentage of reservations in admissions to professional institutions, and distribution of seats at the PG level going up to 54% and 53%, respectively.
Interestingly, the government has worked out an internal mechanism of reduction by 10 percent in the Resident of Backward Areas (RBA) quota, which along with 8% increase in overall reservations, accommodates all these changes.
The significant decision came at Wednesday’s meeting of Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu-led Administrative Council—equivalent to cabinet in popular government, which approved several Amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Rules, 2005.
These amendments, it said, were necessary to give representation to the PSP, more so after the reorganization of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and enactment of the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Act, 2004.
As per the existing reservation rules, the percentage of reservation in direct recruitments was eight percent to Scheduled Castes (SCs), 10 per cent to Scheduled Tribes (STs), two per cent to weaker and under privileged classes (Social Caste), three per cent to residents of areas adjoining the Line of Actual Control (ALC)/International Border (IB), 20 per cent to residents of backward areas (RBA). There was also a horizontal reservation of six per cent available to ex-servicemen and three per cent to physically challenged persons (PHCs), totaling up to 52%.
However, in direct recruitment now, there will be reservation of four percent reservation for PSP and 10% to EWSs, while Social Caste will now get 4%, residents of ALC/IB 4% and PHCs 4%, while reservation for RBA has now been reduced to 10%.
The reservation for SCs, STs and ex-servicemen though remain unchanged, even as the total reservation in direct recruitment goes up to 60%.
There are around 9.6 lakh Pahari speaking people across Jammu and Kashmir spread over mainly in Rajouri, Poonch, Baramulla (Uri and Boniyar), Kupwara (Karna and Keran) and pockets of Anantnag, Budgam, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian.
For close to two decades, the Pahari Speaking People have been pitching for their inclusion in the list of Scheduled Tribes, a demand vehemently resisted by the Gujjar community, which share the quota with 12 other tribe.
The decision by Murmu administration comes around a month after a delegation of Pahari leaders—cutting religions and party lines, had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah over their demand for ST status. The meeting which took place on December 25 last year, was also attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
Meanwhile, the reservation benefits have also been extended to PSP for admission in professional institutions and distribution of seats in professional institutions at the PG level in medical, engineering, agriculture and similar other postgraduate courses also.
For admission in professional institutions, the reservation percentages will now be eight per cent to SCs, 10 per cent to STs, four per cent to Social Caste, four per cent to ALC, 10 per cent to RBA, four per cent to PSP and 10 per cent to EWSs. A horizontal reservation of four per cent will be available to PHCs, totaling to 54%.
For post graduate courses in MD/MS/MTech, engineering and agricultural sciences and similar other postgraduate courses, the revised distribution of seats will be eight per cent to SCs, 10 per cent to STs, 10 per cent to RBA, four per cent to ALC/IB, four per cent to Social Caste, four per cent to PSP, two per cent to children of defence personnel/paramilitary forces and J and K Police personnel, one per cent to candidates possessing outstanding proficiency in sports and 10 per cent to EWSs, totaling to 53%.
For claiming the benefit in the PSP Category, a person must be a member of the Pahari clan, community or tribe having distinct cultural, ethnic and linguistic identity; must be speaking Pahari language and his or her mother tongue must be Pahari, an official spokesman said.
“He or she must possess a valid identity proof which can be either Aadhaar card or domicile certificate. A tehsildar shall be a competent authority to certify the claim of a person belonging to the PSP,” he added.
The decision will not only help to rationalise the reservations across Jammu and Kashmir but will also give equitable representation to the members of the Pahari community thereby meeting their long pending demand, he said, adding that the Social Welfare Department has been directed to redraw the reservation roster upon fixation of the new percentages.

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