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Common Minimum Programme for SCs, STs and Backward Classes

by safdar — last modified 2009-06-17 14:18

A draft Common Minimum, in respect of the rights of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes is looking for inclusion within the Common Minimum Programme

A draft Common Minimum, in respect of the rights of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes is looking for inclusion within the Common Minimum Programme of the ruling collation which is the newly elected UPA and its allies. The draft has also been prepared with significance to the opposition parties and other regional parties which shall put a pressure on the ruling coalition for inclusion within the larger common minimum Programme to be prepared after the formation of the government.

A senior bureaucrat committed to the issues of the Dalit and the marginalized sections, Dr P.S Krishnan, IAS (Retd.) former secretary to the Government of India prepared the draft along with a number of organizations from all over the country working for Social Justice, namely: National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, National Dalit Movement for Justice, National Action forum For Social Justice, All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch, National Dalit Election Watch, People’s Commission Against Atrocities on Dalits, All Indian Federation of Other Backward Classes Employees Welfare Association, Safai Karmachari Andolan, National Alliance on Bonded Labour and Indraprastha Public affairs Centre (professional lobby support organization).

The draft is divided into four sections. The first section A is based on the major programmes and schemes which are crucial for the attainment of the ‘over-arching’ goals of social justice. Of the section, key emphasis is on economic empowerment of which two major programmes have been thrown light upon: A comprehensive national Programme of minor irrigation and endowment of adequate agricultural land through proper implementation of land ceiling and redistribution legislations to every landless rural family of SC and ST. These programmes underlined with equal focus on women. Other major programmes within the section include educational parity at all levels for Dalit children (girl children included), elimination of untouchability and atrocities, proper implementation of Special Component Plan (SCP) and Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP), Reservation in posts and services under the state, employment, clearance of backlogs in reservation for Sc and ST, creation of judicial service and examination of the loopholes in the existing Panchayat Raj, attention toward safai karmacharis and Bonded Labourers, and consideration of the recommendations of the Committee  of Ministers on Dalit Affairs.

Section B of the draft common minimum Programme focuses on schemes and programmes which provide relief and amelioration in the existing programmes. This has been prepared after an analysis of all national party manifestos prepared for the 15th Lok Sabha elections 2009, and the section mentions those programmes and schemes which are mandated for social justice and in some way ignored at some or the other level. This section looks at the mitigated NREGA, heath security for the SCs and STs, programmes  for children particularly girl children, programmes of skill development and promotion of entrepreneurship, Bharat Nirman and Urban development schemes, National food security and subsidized food grains, and comprehensive social security.

Section C within the draft, looks at the matters of intrinsic importance to backward classes and other poor which include the even more backward classes of the backward classes. An attempt has been made here to include: backward classes, Christians and Muslims of Schedules caste origin and the poorest of the poor among the ‘socially non-backward’ cases. The last section D summarizes the sources for the analysis.

On the whole, keeping in mind that a lot has been said and little has been achieved with respect to justice and rights of the SC, ST and Backward Classes, the draft is an attempt made by all the people at vigil to highlight the rights of the minorities.

The Draft Common Minimum Programme 2009 in respect of SC, ST and Backward Classes highlights:

1. Rights of SC and ST to Economic Liberation- Two Important Programmes
a. National Programme Of Minor Irrigation For All Sc and ST Land

b. Land for all rural SC and St families

2.      Educational Parity at all Levels
a.      High Quality Residential Schools for SC, St and BC Children
b.      Educational Equalization at all levels, esp. Higher and Professional

          Education-Private Educational Institutions (Reservation in  Admissions) Act

3. Elimination of “Untocuhability”and Atrocities
4. Developmental Autonomy and Dalit-Relevant Planning through proper formulation and implementation of Special Component Plan (SCP) for SCs and Tribal sub-Plan (TSP)
5. Legislation for reservation in posts and services under the state
6. Clearance of backlogs in reservation for SC and ST
7. Reservation in employment in the Private Sector
8. Judiciary and Panchayat Raj
9. Elimination of all types of discrimination in employment and other opportunities
10. Safai Karmcharis and Bonded Labourers
11. Operationalisation of the Recommendations of the Committee of   Ministers on Dalit affairs
13. Health Security
14. Children, particularly girl children
15. Programmes of Skill Development and Promotion of Entrepreneurship
16. Bharat Nriman and Urban Development Schemes
17. National Food Security and Subsidized Food Grains
18. Comprehensive Social Security
19. Development of Backward Classes
20. Christians and Muslims of Scheduled Caste Origin
21. Completion of the process of identification of Backward Classes of Muslims and Christians
22. Issue of the poor among the ‘Socially non-Backward’

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