After two failed attempts in the last seven years, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) appears all set to finally hold its review meeting with officials of the Uttar Pradesh government to assess matters that concern the community.
On Wednesday, heads of at least 15 state government departments would sit down with officials of the NCSC at Yojana Bhavan in Lucknow for a review meeting where discussion would be held on the “atrocities” against Dalits, the process adopted by the UP government in lieu of the High Court order cancelling promotions under the ‘reservation in promotion’ policy, complaints filed by the students regarding the SC scholarship, and the use of Special Component Plan funds.
In order to ensure maximum gains from the meeting, the Commission has invited public representatives, including state MLAs and MPs, for a separate meeting on Tuesday with the SC employees’ organisations. The NCSC intends to take up any grievances raised during this meeting with the government officials the next day. Later on Tuesday, a meeting between NCSC Chiarman P L Punia and and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is also scheduled.
The meeting on Wednesday assumes importance since those proposed on last two occasions had to be cancelled. Chairman of the NCSC, P L Punia, had alleged that in July 2011, the state government not only refused to allocate space to the commission members in the government guest houses, it had also refused him (Punia) entry into King George’s Medical University, which the Commission wanted to visit to review complaints of “bias” towards SC students. The Commission had to meet the students outside the campus, he had claimed.
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There was another attempt, in 2008, under the chairmanship of Buta Singh when a review meeting was planned with primary focus on the suicide committed by a review officer in the Vidhan Sabha. Sources said that that meeting, too, was cancelled.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Punia said: “Atrocities against the SC reported in the state, reservation in promotion, implementation of the Special Component Plan and other issues will be addressed.”
He, however, said there are two major issues that he would personally raise before the CM. He intends to tell the government that “instead of completely doing away with the ‘reservation in promotion’ policy, it should follow the procedure recommended in the M Nagraj case”. Punia said had the government carried out a “proper study” before introducing reservation, the HC order would not have come.
Another issue that Punia would raise before the CM were the large number of Dalit students’ complaints that their applications were cancelled due to “technical errors” while filing online forms.
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