Movement for equality in Karnataka
Historical, legal and constitutional meaning.
The Preamble of the Constitution, Arts. 15, 16, 17, 19 , , 38, 39, 43, 45, 325, Part XVI, and Article 46 deals with removing away religious, social and economic disparities, exploitation , etc. The said provisions of the Constitution, speaks about the to need to establish an egalitarian society. The Constitution by Article 340 authorizes the President of India to appoint a Commission to investigate the conditions of the socially and educationally backward classes of citizens within the territory of India.
Article 15(4) of the Constitution authorizes the State to make special provisions for the advancement of the socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
Article 16(4) of the Constitution authorizes the State to make any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favor of any backward classes of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State. Article 46 of the Constitution enjoins upon the State to promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people and in particular of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
1 Various Commissions/Committees on Backward Classes
Pursuant to Article 340 the President appointed the Backward Gasses Commission in 1953 under the Chairmanship of Sri Kaka Kalelkar, which prepared lists of Backward Classes for all the States and the Union Territories. It submitted its report in March 1955 listing out 2399 castes as socially and educationally backward on the basis of criteria evolved by it, However recommendations made by the Commission were not accepted by the Union Government.
On January 1, 1979 the JANATA Government headed by Sri MORARJI DESAI appointed the second Backward Classes commission (By a Presidential Order under Article 340 of the Constitution of India, the first Backward Class Commission being KAKA KALLELKAR’s Commission) under Article 340 of the Constitution under the chairmanship of Sri B.P. Mandal (MP) to investigate the Socially & Educationally Backward Classes within the territory of INDIA & recommended steps to be taken for their advancement including the necessary provision which are to be required to be made for them for the upliftment of their status by giving equal opportunity in the public employment.
The commission submitted its report on December, 1980 in this report the commission identified about 3743 castes as socially & educationally backward classes& recommended for reservation of 27% in Government jobs.
The 9 judges Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court by 6-3 majority gave the following judgements:-
I. Backward class of citizen in Article 16(4) can be identified on the caste system & not only on economic basis.
ii. Creamy layer must be excluded from the backward classes.
iii. Reservation shall not exceed 50%.
iv. No reservation in promotion.
v. Permanent Statutory body to examine complains of over – inclusion / under – inclusion.
- Leslie Miller Commission
A commission under the chairmanship of Sir Leslie Miller, the Chief Judge of Mysore, had recommended the reservation of 75 per cent of all government jobs for Backward Classes.
Praja Mitra Mandali launched a focused movement to bring pressure on the king of Mysore for reservation in recruitment and education. The Miller Committee was constituted by Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore in the year 1919. This committee’s findings provided a fact based report on the actual situation of overrepresentation of brahmins in education and government positions and the non-representations of other communities. The report was based on the caste-wise demographic and English literacy data from the census 1911. Its recommendations included scholarships for backward classes, relaxation of age limit for public service appointments and changes in the merit-based examinations.
Wadiyar championed many progressive endeavors such as compulsory education for women, but the strong measures he took to ensure educational, employment and political representation of the backward communities was met with stiff resistance from his own Dewan, Visvesvaraya, who was strongly opposed to the idea of reservations. Visvesvaraya rejected the recommendations of the Miller report, Wadiyar overruled his objections, leading to the former’s resignation.
The Miller report laid the foundation for proportionate representation of all citizens of Mysore in education and government jobs. This report became the blueprint for subsequent policies and is one of the important documents referenced by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar while framing the policies for proportionate representation to depressed classes at the national level.~ Round Table India]
Miller Committee Report: Report of the Committee Appointed to Consider Steps Necessary for the Adequate Representation of Communities in the Public Service
Praja Mitra Mandali launched a movement for reservation in jobs and education. The Miller Committee was constituted by Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore in the year 1919.The report was based on the caste-wise demographic and English literacy data from the census 1911. Its recommendations included scholarships for backward classes, relaxation of age limit for public service appointments and changes in the merit-based examinations. Dewan Visvesvaraya, who was strongly opposed to the idea of reservations. Visvesvaraya rejected the recommendations of the Miller report, Wadiyar overruled his objections and accepted the Miller report. Based on the census of 1911, decided that any community (caste) which had less than 5% literacy had to be treated as backward. Thus it laid the foundation for proportionate representation (reservation) which later provided the blueprint for subsequent policies .
- Nagana Gouda Committee
In 1960, the Mysore Government appointed a Committee called” The Mysore Backward Classes Committee” under the Chairmanship of Dr. R. Nagana Gouda, to prescribe criteria for determining the Backward Classes of people, to specify sections of the people who could be treated as socially and educationally backward and to suggest the exact manner in which the criteria prescribed by it should be followed by the State Government to determine the persons. The recommendations were accepted by the Government with certain modifications. list of Backward Classes prepared on the basis of the recommendations made by the Committee and the extent of reservations were challenged in the Supreme Court and the same were struck down.
- Havanur Committee
Government of Mysore in July 1963 issued a Government Order by which individuals of poor economic income of all castes and communities whose income dint exceed Rs. 1,200 per annum and who were following any of the occupations like cultivation of land, petty trade, etc., were “classified” as backward for purposes of Articles 15 (4) and 16 (4).
the said scheme was challenged in the High Court of Mysore in 1963, the Hon’ble Judges of the High Court observed, that the·scheme was a very imperfect one. Considering the seriousness of the situation and its urgency, the Government thought fit to appoint this High Level Commission under the Chairmanship of Mr. L. G. Havanur.
KARNATAKA BACKWARD CLASSES COMMISSION (Constituted under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952) (Central Act 60 of 1952) – L. G. Havanur Chairman 1975.
The terms of reference for the Commission:
- To suggest the criteria to be adopted for determining whether any classes of persons in the State other than the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes may be treated as socially and educationally backward classes.
- To investigate into the living and working conditions of all such classes of persons with special reference to the difficulties under which they may be labouring and to make recommendation as to the special provisions which are ne.cessary to be made by the Government for their a:dvancement and for the promotion of their social, educational and economic interests generally ; ·
- To make a list of all classes which may be regarded as backward classes in the State ;
- To suggest what reservations should be made for such classes in the educational institutions maintained by the State or receiving aid out of the State funds;
- To suggest what other concessions like scholarships, etc., may be given to such classes by way of assistance;
Criteria: For the purpose of properly determining particular castes or tribes or groups as socially and educationally backward.
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have been notified by the President of India under Articles 341 and 342 respectively. In the specification of the said Castes and Tribes in the Schedules under Articles 341 and 342 the President of India adopted the stigma of untouchability as ‘the sole criterion in so far as the former category is concerned, and residence in hills and jungles, or where they live on the plains their leading excluded existence is the criterion in so far as the latter category is concerned.
What is the population of each caste, group.
Which of the castes, tribes or sections of the said communities are engaged as : . (i) artisans ; (ii) agricultural laboureres ; (iii) industrial workers ; (iv) other occupational or functional workers; and (v) paupers ;
Religious and social disabilities, Economic Education Traditlional occupations, functions, trades and professions , Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes, Political, Services, Housing, health and sanitation .
Determination of backward classes in the State for purposes of admission to educational institutions, aid, assistanct1, reservation of posts ~n the services under the State, etc.
- Venkataswamy Committee
In November 1982 the Karnataka Government gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court to appoint another Commission. Thus the GOK constituted the second commission in April 1983, with 15 members including its Chairman T. Venkataswamy.
Venkataswamy Commission in 1986 made one of the most comprehensive socioeconomicand educational surveys ever undertaken, covering about 91 percent of the State’s 3.6 crore population. For determining backwardness the commission formulated as many as 17 socio-economic, educational and employment indicators. While its first recommendation was thus to treat as backward 35 castes/communities for educational purposes, and of them 31 for employment purposes, its second recommendation was for an overall reservation of 27 per cent for both purposes, 14 per cent for group A (for about 18 per cent population) and 13 per cent for group B (for about 15 per cent population). It also offered a wide array of other recommendations for the gradual upliftment of the Backward classes. Its recommendations directly related to the implementation of the reservation provisions included reservations in promotions as well; carry forward system for unfilled quotas; exclusion from the reservation benefits all those with annual family income above Rs, 15,000
- Chinnappa Reddy Commission
Right at the outset Justice Reddy has expressed in unequivocal terms his abiding concern for the continuation of this policy and the constitutional mandates on it. Later, he has also arrived at the unambiguous conclusion that social and educational backwardness is the outcome of economic underdevelopment, educational unawareness, and caste degradation. he projected caste as the primary factors in determining backwardness. He observed how social gradation is now reflected in the political, economic, educational, and occupational attainments of the various castes. In making a general assessment of each caste/community Justice Reddy’s main considerations have been its traditional social status, literacy rate with reference to the State average, performance in the SSLC examination with reference to parent’s income and occupation, and share in the total admissions to the various professional and postgraduate courses and in the total employment in universities, public enterprises and in the State Government. Since the Venkataswamy Commission’s figures were accepted by the Government for their accuracy, after cross checking them in various ways Justice Reddy has used these figures for making projections for1988. On the basis of his overall assessment of the different castes/ communities he has drawn up two provisional lists, one of the backwards with 67 names, and another of the forwards with 32 names.
Justice Reddy has then subjected his assessment of the castes/communities in these lists to the economic criterion. the crucial role of economic background and the importance of the economic criterion in locating social and educational backwardness, his main task has been to consider the extent of relevance.
The overall reservation recommended by him is 38 per cent (11 per cent more than Venkataswamy Commission’s recommendation) – 5 per cent for category One, 28 percent for category II and 5 per cent for category III consisting of landless or land-poor agricultural labourers, handloom weavers not owning more than two looms and working for wages or on piece rate basis, construction workers, and so on. The population coming under the first two categories is about 8 per cent and 33 per cent respectively
Exclusion from reservations of all those either of whose parents is/was employed in higher grades (A or B).
- State Backward Classes Commission:
Karnataka State Backward classes commission was established in the state as per the Honble. Supreme Courts directions in Indira scwhaney case and Karnataka State Backward classes Act 1995 was passed.
- National Commission for Backward Classes A Statutory Body under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment Government of India.
THE NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR BACKWARD CLASSES ACT, 1993. An Act to constitute a National Commission for Backward Classes other than the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and to provide for matters connected.
- The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the then Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment. The bill aims at granting the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC) constitutional status, on par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.