After a delay of months, the Karnataka cabinet finally gave its nod for the implementation of the SC/ST reservation in promotion bill. While the move is believed to cause disappointment among general category and backward classes employees, sources from the government say that there could be ways to ensure that SC/ST staffers are reinstated in their posts without adversely impacting staffers from other communities.
More than 38 departments are now in the process of drawing a new seniority list to accommodate SC/ST staffers who were demoted in 2017. The entire process, according to officials, could take about 30-45 days.
Close to 65,000 state government employees are estimated to be affected — directly and indirectly — with the implementation of ‘Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to government servants promoted on the basis of reservation act, 2017’. So far, 3,799 SC/ST employees had been demoted while 5,002 general category employees had been promoted in their places after an altered seniority list. With the case being fought in the Supreme Court, the state government had stopped all promotions.
“The will of the cabinet is that no employee of the general and OBC category should suffer in the process of reinstating SC/ST staffers,” said Krishna Byregowda, Minister, RDPR, when announcing the cabinet’s decision.
“There are some 2.18 lakh jobs that are pending/vacant in the government. Currently, the working strength is just 67-69 per cent,” said a source from the government, pointing out that there were enough positions that needed to be filled without demoting existing general category and OBC staffers. “Those who had been demoted will be reinstated, but it is not necessary that they be posted in the same region,” a source said.
The government’s priority is now to ensure restoration of posts to those SC/ST staffers who were demoted and also ensure that other staffers currently serving in various posts are not adversely affected.While all measures taken by the government will be subject to the SC’s verdict, but until that time, the state hopes to release pending pensions for staffers who retired in lower posts after being demoted.
IN A NUTSHELL
- Close to 65,000 state govt employees estimated to be affected — directly and indirectly
- Govt’s priority is to ensure restoration of posts to SC/ST staffers who were demoted
- Also ensure other staffers currently serving in various posts are not adversely affected
- Act to be implemented subject to SC’s final verdict