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HomeTop StoriesGovt panel on SC sub-categorisation meets Madiga community representatives

Govt panel on SC sub-categorisation meets Madiga community representatives

File picture of people listening to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s during SC Reservation Vishwarupa Mahasabha Public Meeting, organised by the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) in Hyderabad
| Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

With the Supreme Court having reserved its verdict in the matter of sub-classification of SCs and STs, the high-level government panel constituted to examine the issue of SC sub-categorisation met with representatives of the Madiga community from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to hear their case.

Sources in the Central government told The Hindu that the second meeting of the high-level panel was held on Friday, during which committee members met with representatives of the Madiga community, who have been at the forefront of the demand for sub-categorisation within SCs.

The Madiga community’s argument that they have been crowded out of reservation and other benefits by the dominant Mala community, another SC, despite being more in numbers is what started off the court challenges and the inquiry commissions into this question in 1994.

At least one Madiga association has argued in favour of the sub-categorisation, for whom former Attorney General K.K. Venugopal submitted arguments before the seven-judge Bench.

In Friday’s meeting of the high-level panel, the representatives of the community presented their arguments for being treated preferentially given the graded nature of discrimination even among SCs.

Government’s assurance

Government sources said that the representatives were assured that their concerns will be considered. “The representatives were told the government will do its best to find a way.”

The committee has been mandated to look into ways of helping the most backward among the Scheduled Castes of the country. However, it has strict instructions to not veer off into the question of cutting up the SC quota as it would be sub-judice given the Supreme Court was already hearing the case.

The committee is meant to help the Madiga community and other “similarly placed SC communities all over India” in terms of special policies. “It will find ways to target special initiatives towards them,” one source said.

They added that the committee is yet to find a concrete way to identify such SC communities that need special intentions and is working out a methodology for the same.

Official appointed

Meanwhile, the government on Friday appointed 1999-batch ICAS officer Shailendra Kumar as Joint Secretary to the Commission set up to look into the demand for SC status for Dalit Christians and Muslims for a tenure of five years or further orders. However, the Commission was given a deadline of two years to submit its report when it was constituted.

The appointment was notified on Friday by the Department of Personnel and Training, which added that the post of Director (Research) was being upgraded to appoint Mr. Singh as Joint Secretary.

The Commission was constituted in 2022 and is headed by former Chief Justice of India Justice K.G. Balakrishnan. The matter of the SC category’s religion criteria is also pending with the Supreme Court.

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