Rangnath Commission recommends 10% quota for Muslims

A government-appointed Commission has recommended 10 per cent reservation for Muslims and five per cent for other minorities in government jobs and favoured Scheduled Caste status for Dalits in all religions.

The report of the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, headed by former Chief Justice of India Rangnath Mishra, was tabled by Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Among a host of recommendations, the Commission recommends delinking of Scheduled Caste status from religion and abrogation of the 1950 Scheduled Caste Order which "still excludes Muslims, Christians, Jains and Parsis from the SC net."

The Order originally restricted the SC status to Hindus only but was later opened it to Buddhists and Sikhs.

With regard to quota, the Commission says that 10 per cent should be reserved for Muslims and five per cent for other minorities in central and state government jobs in all cadre and grades.

It added that in case of non-availability of Muslims to fill the 10 per cent earmarked seats, these may be made available to other minorities but in "no case" shall any seat within the recommended 15 per cent shall be given to anybody from the majority community.

Member Secretary of the Commission Asha Das has, however, given a note of dissent on the the Commission's recommendation for conferment of SC status on Dalit converts to Christianity and Islam saying there was "no justification" for it.

Besides, she has said that as Dalit converts to Christianity/Islam do not qualify for inclusion as SCs, they should continue to form part of OBCs and avail facilities and reservations given to the OBCs until a comprehensive list of Socially and Educationally Backward (SEB) is prepared.

The Commission has, however, rejected the contentions made by Das in the dissent note and said "(we) firmly stand by every word of the recommendations, we have made under this term of reference."

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