‘Demand for reservation justified’

The demand by some groups to provide reservation to various communities in proportion to their population is justified, B. Sriramulu, Social Welfare Minister, said in Hubballi on Sunday.

“Several communities are asking for higher quantum of reservation or re-categorisation of reservation. Kurubas are demanding to be listed under Scheduled Tribes, while Panchamsali Lingayats are demanding to be moved to 2A from 3B among Backward Classes. Leaders of these communities are saying that such issues could be resolved if the total quantum of reservation increased. There are suggestions that SC reservation be increased to 17%, ST to 7.5%, and the total reservation slab could be increased in proportion of other backward castes. The State government is considering all these suggestions,” he said.

He was speaking after inaugurating Ambedkar Bhavan in Hubballi built at a cost of ₹3.5 crore.

The Minister said that he would request Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to increase the quantum of reservation. “We know that the demand for increasing the quantum of reservation has been pending. Implementation of the recommendation of Justice Nagmohan Das Committee is being delayed. Senior Cabinet members like Jagadish Shettar has supported adding Kurubas to the Scheduled Tribes list. We will try to resolve all these issues after convincing the CM,” he said. He said the State government will work towards strengthening government hostels and residential schools and colleges. “At present, over 1.68 lakh students study in government hostels. We hope to increase that and to provide better amenities to them,” he said.

He hoped that Ambedkar Bhavans would evolve into institutions that will provoke a new thought and promote the spirit of inquiry. He said that PM Modi had implemented several programmes to popularise the work of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar across the world. He gave away incentives, cash prizes, and scholarships to students, children of Devadasis, and inter-caste couples.

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