BHUBANESWAR: Amid growing demand from BJP for early implementation of 27 percent (pc) reservations for OBCs, the reconstitution of Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC) has rekindled the hope that a majority of population will get the benefit of social justice enshrined in the Constitution three decades ago.
The decision of the State government to go for a survey to identify socially and economically backward classes (SEBCs) on the basis of socio-educational status, however, has raised doubt among OBC people and leaders championing their cause about the effectiveness of such exercise.
Former union minister Srikanta Jena, one of the few politicians of the State fighting for OBC rights for decades, suspected the sincerity of the BJD government implementing the Mandal Commission recommendations accepted by the then VP Singh government at Centre in 1990.“I don’t know the mandate of this reconstituted State Commission for Backward Classes. A socio-economic and caste survey is a massive exercise and it will take a long time to complete,” Jena said.
Population Census is a subject of the Centre. The Centre has already rejected the State government request for a separate format for enumeration of OBCs. “If the Chief Minister really wanted to help the OBCs, his government could have gone in appeal in the Supreme Court after the Orissa High Court in 2017 struck down the Odisha Reservation of Posts and Services (for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes) Act that provisioned for 27 pc reservations for the OBCs in government jobs,” he said.
“There is no dispute to the fact that 54 pc of population in Odisha belongs to OBCs and SEBCs. Is the government considering to provide proportionate reservation to OBCs and SECBs after the survey,” wondered Dambarudhara Ghana, an OBC activist.Providing 27 pc reservation to OBCs is a constitutional provision. The government is giving 11.25 pc against the legitimate due of 27 pc. Further enumeration is nothing but killing time to deprive a large section of the population from their constitutional rights, he added.
The data collected during the socio-economic caste census (SECC) conducted by the UPA government in 2011 through door-to-door enumeration is still with the Central government. This data has since formed the basis of determining beneficiaries of government schemes, thus, becoming a crucial tool to ensure targeted disbursement of welfare initiatives. “There is no need for another survey as the government is using the same data released by the Centre in 2015,” said a senior officer familiar with the Census operations.
- 38.75 pc for ST & SC in job
- 11.5 pc for OBC & SEBC
- 10 pc for others
- 20 pc for ST & SC in education
- 10 pc for others
- No reservation for OBC & SEBC