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SCs, STs, OBCs in central govt: what data on posts and vacancies show

DoPT has asked Union ministries and departments to “ensure that the reservation rosters are strictly maintained... any promotion order issued shall be subject to further orders that may be passed by the Supreme Court”. A look at the existing data on representation of various social categories

Written by Shyamlal Yadav | New Delhi |
Updated: April 23, 2022 12:11:03 pm
Jitendra Singh, MoS for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, has tabled data in Parliament on a number of times this year. (File Photo)

Last week, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) wrote to all Union ministries and departments reminding them about “collection of quantifiable data regarding inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes”. Its circular cited an ongoing case in the Supreme Court.

A look at the existing data on representation of various social categories:

What is the DoPT circular about?

It has asked Union ministries and departments to “ensure that the reservation rosters are strictly maintained… any promotion order issued shall be subject to further orders that may be passed by the Supreme Court”. The circular has cited a Supreme Court judgment of January 28 that set out “conditions that are to be satisfied by the Government for the purpose of implementation of the policy of reservation in promotions”. These include “collection of quantifiable data regarding inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes” and “application of this data to each cadre separately”. The DoPT has asked all ministries and departments to ensure that these conditions “are complied with before implementing the policy of reservation in promotions and carrying out any promotions based thereon”.

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Central employees and social categories

What are the data on representation of various social categories among central government employees?

Jitendra Singh, MoS for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, has tabled data in Parliament on a number of times this year.

A response he tabled in Rajya Sabha on March 17 covered 43 departments and government offices including Cabinet Secretariat, UPSC and Election Commission, but excluding the largest central government employers such as Railways and Department of Posts.

The total number of Group A to Group C employees (including safai karmacharis) works out to 5.12 lakh (see table). Of these, 17.70% are SC, 6.72% ST, 20.26% OBC (Other Backward Classes), and 0.02% EWS (Economically Weaker Sections). In Group-A, the highest tier among these, the representation of SCs is just 12.86%, of STs 5.64% and of OBCs 16.88%. Reservation for these communities is 15%, 7.5% and 27% respectively.

HIGHER POSTS: On February 2 in Lok Sabha, Jitendra Singh said that in among Secretaries and Special Secretaries, only six belong to SCs and STs, and, “no data regarding OBC is maintained.”.

On March 31 in Rajya Sabha, he said: “Out of 91 Additional Secretaries, the number of officers belonging to SC/ST and OBC communities are 10 and 4 respectively and out of 245 Joint Secretaries, the number of officers belonging to SC/ST and OBC communities are 26 and 29 respectively in various Ministries/Departments under Central Staffing Scheme.”

How many posts are vacant?

On February 3, Jitendra Singh told Rajya Sabha that 8,72,243 central government posts were vacant as on March 1, 2020, down from 9,10,153 on March 1, 2019. Between 2018-19 and 2020-21, over 2.65 lakh employees were recruited, including 13,238 by the UPSC, 1,00,330 by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) and 1,51,900 by the Railway Recruitment Boards.

For the IAS, the DoPT annual report for the 2020-21 states that as on January 1, 2021, the sanctioned strength is 6,746 and occupancy is 5,231 — a vacancy of 1,515 posts.

How many reserved posts are vacant?

In his March 17 response in Rajya Sabha, Jitendra Singh tabled data for 10 central departments (Defence Production, Railways, Financial Services, Posts, Defence, Housing and Urban Affairs, Home Affairs, Atomic Energy, Revenue and Education) as of January 1, 2021. The data show a huge backlog: SC (filled: 13,202; vacant: 17,880); ST (filled 9,619; vacancies: 14,061); OBC (filled: 11,732; vacancies: 19,283) — a total of 51,224 vacancies in reserved posts against 34,553 filled posts. These 10 departments have “more than 90 per cent of the employees of the Central Government,” Singh said.

Huge gaps between the reserved and other categories can be seen in the Cabinet Secretariat (Group-A: out of 81 officers, 6 SC, 1 ST, 2 OBCs; Group-B: 109 officers, 6 SC, 6 ST, 20); Public Enterprises Department (Group-A: 30 officers, 5 SC, no ST or OBC); NITI Aayog (Group-A: 193 officers, 19 SC, 13 ST, 15 OBC); and Higher Education Department (Group-A: 221 officers, 39 SC, 23 ST, 29 OBC).

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