Khurshid defends stand on minority reservation

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 29 2011, 07:46am hrs
Minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday reiterated the government's stand on reservation for minorities in the already existing quota for Backward Classes (OBCs).

While making a statement regarding creation of a sub-quota of 4.5% for centrally notified minority communities within the reservation of 27% quota available to OBCs in government jobs and admission to central educational institutions, he said that only the backward sections of minorities will be entitled to the reservation.

He said that inclusion or exclusion in the central OBC list would be strictly on the basis of backwardness of minorities which include Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Parsis and that this decision was in line with the Mandal Commission formula which was based on the caste census of 1931. His statement assumes significance as some parties, particularly the BJP were opposing any quota for Muslims. "There will be no constitutional hurdle in implementing the sub-quota for minorities. It is apparent from the judgement of the Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney case that the government is within its legitimate rights to make sub-categorisation amongst castes/communities included in the broad category of OBC," he said.

Quoting the Sachar Committee report, the minister said: "Sachar Committee also had recommended ...affirmative action for Muslims in India through separate reservation. The proportion between the two (Hindu OBC and non-Hindu OBC) is currently approximately 1:5 because of the decadal growth of Muslims (which) has been higher compared to Hindus."