NEW DELHI: After recently introducing reservation for minorities within the OBC quota, the Centre on Wednesday decided to fill up pending vacancies under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe quotas in the Central government.
Ahead of Assembly polls in five States, the meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the proposal to clear the backlog of vacancies in the SC, ST quota and gave directions to various ministries and departments to speed up filling up of the posts with the help of Ministry of Personnel.
Though the government cannot implement the decision till the elections are over due to the model code of conduct, the UPA utilised the opportunity to send a clear signal and woo Dalits in these five States, particularly Uttar Pradesh and Punjab where they are present in high numbers.
The move is obviously aimed at helping the Congress woo voters in BSP supremo Mayawati’s State and give credibility to party general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s claims that the Central government is the only one doing anything for the progress of people in the State.
The Centre had launched a special recruitment drive in 2008 to clear the backlog, but had failed to fill up the vacancies. Sources said that Ministries of Human Resource Development and Finance among others have large number of vacancies in the categories of SC and ST.
Sources pointed out that lack of eligible candidates was one of the reasons for the government failing to fill the vacancies. Now the focus would be on training job seekers from SC and ST categories to make them competent for the tasks.
Meanwhile, the Centre has also deferred a decision on the proposal of the Department of Disinvestment to raise `40,000 crore from the divestment of Public Sector Undertakings through buyback and other modes.