Chennai: More than two decades after implementation of Mandal commission report, which mandates 27 percent reservation for OBCs in central government jobs, an RTI data shows that less than 12 percent of employees of central government ministries, departments and statutory bodies are from other backward classes (OBCs) as on January 1, 2015.
What’s more, 40 ministries, including social justice and 48 departments held back the information sought by Chennai based scientist E Muralidharan under the Right to Information Act. Among the departments that have not provided any information is ministry of human resources, which is a major employer of group A employees like professors in IITs and other central educational institutions.
Going by the data available, under the group A, B,C and D category of employees, out of 79,483 posts, there are only 9,040 OBC staff.
Surprisingly, data provided by the department of personnel and training, which was the recipient of the RTI appeal and is responsible for the appointments, itself fares poorly in this regard, with 12.91 percent Scheduled Castes (SC), 4 percent Scheduled Tribes (ST) and 6.67 percent OBC forming the pool of employees under the reservation laws. The total number of personnel in the department is 6,879.
This means that a significant number of posts which have been allocated for these communities are yet to be filled, which raises questions on the effective implementation of the Mandal committee recommendations, Muralidharan said.
A closer look at the data indicates that there is not a single OBC Grade A officer in the President’s secretariat; less than 9 percent of the 651 Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) staff is from the OBC category. The higher education department employs only 5 percent OBC in Grade A officers and 10 percent OBC staff. Out of 41 Grade A posts in the department of scientific and industrial research, there is only one OBC officer.
Muralidharan has repeatedly filed RTIs every year to check the performance of the central government in appointments under reserved categories. “The departments are supposed to release the data, but they have been found wanting,” he said.
In the RTI query, Muralidharan asked what action was initiated against ministries and departments which did not provide the data. The under-secretary of the department of personnel and training, Raju Saraswat replied that two reminders were sent to the departments concerned, but he failed to state if any action was taken.
Muralidharan said that it was mandatory for the departments and ministries to furnish these details to DoPT by January 1 every year as per an office memorandum (OM No. No.43011/10/2002-Estt (Res.), dated December 19, 2003.
He pointed out that the poor implementation of caste-based reservations would result in the wedge of inequality increasing. “Reservations should be time-bound and there must be a of the positions filled,” he said.