NEW DELHI: The Centre has given "in-principle approval" to amendment to the format of caste certificates to provide reservation benefits to the members of SC communities who had converted to Buddhism, a Maharashtra minister claimed today.
Members of Scheduled Caste communities who converted to Buddhism were treated as "minorities" and an amendment was made to the law in 1990 for providing reservation benefit to them.
However, the format of caste certificates of central government did not mention the neo-Buddhists as SCs, said Maharashtra Social Justice minister Rajkumar Badole.
"It was our demand that the central government should provide them these benefits but due to unchanged format of certificate they do not receive the benefits. I raised the demand before Social Justice and Empower Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot and he gave in-principle approval to make amendments in the caste certificate format which has been pending for 26 years," Badole said.
He said the Maharashtra government has prepared a format so as to provide converted Buddhists reservation benefits and suggested to the Centre to adopt it. He claimed that around five crore Scheduled Castes who converted to Buddhism spread over at least 8 states will be benefited by change in the caste certificate.