Kohima, March 5: The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) today stressed on the need to scrap blanket classification of a particular tribe as backward or forward and adopt pocket wise reservation policy in Government services in Nagaland.
Stating this during the consultative meeting on Reservation Policy in Nagaland here, NSF president Ninoto Awomi cited that in the existing reservation policy in the Government job sector, 6 tribes from the Eastern Nagas are enjoying 25% reservation, Chakhesang and Pochury are enjoying 6%, Zeliang 4%, Sumis of Kiphire 2%, and the physically challenged 4%.
“The total percentage of reservation in the state of Nagaland presently stands at 41% which is one of the highest in the states of India,” he said.
Awomi said “if the State Government agrees or accepts the 45% job reservation for the six tribes of Eastern Nagas, the total percentage of reservation in the state would increase to 61%. …such a development would be unreasonable, defeat competitive mindset, murder meritocracy and it will be self-defeating for the State as a whole”.
Maintaining that NSF has no mala-fide intention against any group or organization, and it is not against job reservation, he said basing on those facts and circumstances, NSF is against any policy decision that would defeat reasonable balance in Naga society.
The NSF said the current reservation policy categorizes certain tribes as so called backward or forward tribes. However, not all the people or pockets of the so called backward or forward tribes can be categorized as so, he said while citing that certain pockets of Backward Tribes are much more forward than certain areas of those categorized as forward tribes.
Therefore, NSF opined that “a blanket classification of a particular tribe as backward or forward needs to be scrapped and pocket wise reservation policy needs to be adopted to do justice”.
Saying that the current reservation policy is being misused, NSF said most of the reserved seats are grabbed by the children of economically well to do parents or those serving in the higher strata of the Government setup. The federation urged the Government to see to it that only genuine candidates benefit from this reservation policy, and creamy layer policy needs to be strictly implemented.
The NSF also suggested that there should be “equal criteria on educational qualification for all jobs”.
It said there should be a minimum “cut-off mark even on reservation quota” to avoid qualification only by virtue of being single candidate from a particular tribe or pockets under a given rooster. This is required so as to ensure that the right candidate is employed for a particular job despite the existence of the reservation policy because whoever aspires to be a Government employee is about serving the Government to make a difference for the people, he said.
Conveying that it is the prerogative of the Government to make a decision, Awomi however said NSF is looking up to the Government to take a well balanced decision with due regard to the opinions and suggestions of the various stakeholders.
While expressing that Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB) cannot be put on hold indefinitely because of the reservation issue, Awomi also appealed to the Government to come out with a stipulated timeframe for coming out with a solution and implement NSSB at the earliest. (Page News Service)