Union Minister of State (MoS) for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Saturday said that the Centre would take a decision on the categorisation of the Other Backward Classes (castes) and the Dalit status of Muslims and Christians in the country after the reports of studies conducted by the appointed committees for the same.
The government has given a time of six months for the committees to examine the issue of Dalit status for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims.
Addressing a press conference in Kerala's Kochi, MoS Athawale said that so far 80 per cent of the Muslim community are getting reservations under OBC and now their Ministry has appointed a Balakrishnan committee to study on Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims.
"80 per cent Muslim community is getting reservation in OBC. Our ministry has appointed the Balakrishnan committee to study Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims. Also, we have given them a time of six months to prepare a report, on the grounds that our government will take a decision," Athawale said adding that these studies are currently underway.
He further mentioned about the appointment of the Rohini committee to study the categorisation of OBCs.
"We are giving 27 pc reservation for the OBC community and have appointed Rohini Committee, which is also studying about the categorisation of OBC. Our ministry will think about its categorisation once the report arrives," he said.
"There are two or three groups and studies are going on there," he added.
The Supreme Court had asked the Centre for its stand on the issue on August 31, 2022, following which the National Commission submitted the reference report for Religious and Linguistic Minorities finding merit in granting Scheduled Caste status to Dalit Christians.
The National Council of Dalit Christians (NCDC) had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to grant Scheduled Caste status to the Dalit Christians that is currently pending before the Supreme Court.
In accordance with a notification dated October 6, 2022, the Central government appointed a Commission headed by former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan to examine the matter of according Scheduled Caste status to new persons who claim to have historically belonged to the Scheduled Castes, but have converted to a religion other than those mentioned in the Presidential Orders under Article 341 of the Indian Constitution. (ANI)