Dimapur, August 22: The Core Committee on Rationalization of Reservation Policy (CCoRoRP) has called for a review of the Nagaland Reservation Policy (NRP) introduced in 1977 (January 11).
The CCoRoRP is a mandated committee of five tribal students’ bodies – All Sumi Students’ Union (SKK), Angami Students’ Union (ASU), Ao Students’ Conference (AKM), Lotha Students’ Union (LSU) and Rengma Students’ Union (RSU), and was officially formed in 2016 to study and address the existing reservation policy in the State.
In a representation to the Chairman, Review Committee on Job Reservation Policy in the State of Nagaland, Government of Nagaland, the CCoRoRP said the Nagaland Reservation Policy introduced as a good law aimed at alleviating the ‘educated and economically backward section of the Naga society’ has now been implemented for more than four decades with little or no modifications by the Nagaland Government.
The CCoRoRP maintained that 40 years of reservation policy ought to have had some impact on the targeted society and their ‘educational and economic’ conditions by now. “If not, the reservation policy is faulty and needs to be reviewed totally,” it said.
“Besides, this reservation policy, which the Naga people only think in terms of employment opportunities there have been a lot of ramifications because of this ‘backward quota reservation’; therefore, the term ‘Backward Reservation’ needs to be looked from a bigger perspective so that Nagaland State can also progress in an equitable manner.”
“What is the end product of the Reservation Policy in our Naga society today? Is it genuinely benefitting the targeted group of people? If so how? And if it is benefitting the targeted group, then should it go on forever? The next most important question is this, is this reservation policy at the expense of good governance and against an equitable Naga society,” it questioned.
The committee maintained that it is time to redefine the reservation quota based on the situational realities of the State so that in the shortest course of time, our people – irrespective of tribes, forward or backward tribe people – can sit together and compete and be selected, where merit and calibre is the one and only barometer for selection to a job.
“A thorough systematic and academic study on how the Reservation Policy is contributing to the targeted people and areas in Nagaland should be undertaken at the earliest. This can be done in an unbiased manner by the Government in collaboration with various agencies/ tribal apex bodies for systematic collection of the actual data and further policy formulation by the Government,” it said.
The CCoRoRP also submitted a 6-point charter for review of reservation policy to the review committee on job reservation policy for favour of action in the implementation of the policy.
As per the charter, the committee felt that the Government should implement the ‘Creamy layer criteria’ for determining the creamy layers as per the rule under National Commission for Backward Class (NCBC). It also suggested that socio- economic and educational backwardness of the people should be identified/ measured based on the region, pocket/ area and accordingly the reservation policy be implemented including the creamy layer criteria.
The CCoRoRP said there should be equal criteria on educational qualification for all jobs, stating that relaxation of educational qualification for employment will only yield mediocrity. Even if a job is reserved, there should be no compromise on the educational qualification, it stated.
Stating that there should be category options for all competitive exams, the CCoRoRP said, “Reservation upon reservation is creating frustration and distrust amongst the Naga students. A candidate from a backward category should be given a choice to compete either from the backward quota or general. Irrespective of the marks secured, the candidate should be considered only in the opted category.”
The committee also wanted cut off mark on reservation quota. “A cut off mark to qualify exams should be set for BT category to avoid qualifying only by virtue of being single candidate from a particular tribe under a given roster. Similarly, current roster system of reserved quotas especially in technical posts should be comprehensively reviewed,” it said.
The CCoRoRP also sought a time framed review of reservation policy. It said reservation should not be considered as birth right of any person; and it should be reviewed and implemented in consonance with the change of time.
“For instance, if a particular tribe/area literacy rate reaches above State literacy ratio, reservation policy for that tribe/area should be reviewed accordingly,” it suggested.
The core committee stated that it is not against genuine reservation, but that it needs to be streamlined.
“The six charter of representation should be implemented, the reservation policy should benefit those intended people all over Nagaland, and this reservation policy once it has served its purpose, once the so-called backward people reaches at par educationally and socio-economically with others, then there should be a time when the Nagaland Legislative Assembly should declare that the Reservation Policy is done with,” it added. (Page News Service)