Meghalaya: KHNAM demands 80 per cent job reservation for indigenous people

Newmai News Network

Shillong: The Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) has demanded 80 per cent job reservation for indigenous people in the private sector and organized sector in Meghalaya. 

In a letter to Chief Secretary, DP Wahlang, KHNAM president Pyndapbor Saibon said the party has submitted an additional proposal for inclusion in the proposed amended State Reservation Policy (SRP) along with justification.

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“We urge that reservation of 80 per cent of post/vacancies in the private sector/organized sector be reserved for the indigenous tribes of the State of Meghalaya,” Saibon said.

Giving a justification, the KHNAM president said, “Looking at the high rise of unemployability in the State, we understand that the government sector alone will not be able to cater for the requirement, therefore, if the private sector can be brought in the ambit of the SRP, it would to some extent help address the unemployment of the youth of the state.”

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“Moreover, OM dated June 18, 1973 para 7.2 has already included the public undertakings, government-aided institutes and contractors in the SRP. Therefore, we do not see any obstacles in including private sectors and organized sectors too in the SRP,” he added.

The party had already submitted its proposed amendments to the SRP, 1972 and its subsequent Office Memorandum issued from time to time vide letter dated May 31, 2023.

“We would like to express our concern for the delay in finalisation of the amendment and would request the government to put some pace in the matter for early finalisation,”  he said.

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Meanwhile, the next round of meetings of the Expert Committee for reviewing the Meghalaya Reservation Policy will be held on December 6.

This was informed by Meghalaya Chief Secretary, DP Wahlang to a delegation of the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) during a meeting held in his office chamber here today.

“We were informed by the Chief Secretary that the first meeting of the expert committee was held on November 23 and they will again sit for their second meeting on December 6,” KHNAM general secretary James MA Neng told reporters after the meeting.

He said after seeing no sign of progress, the party has decided to meet the chief secretary to seek clarification on the status of the expert committee.

He said that the majority of the political parties are now keeping silent on the issue.

“We have also urged the chief secretary to ensure the committee completes its exercise at the earliest,” Neng said.

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The general secretary also claimed that the KHNAM was never satisfied with the decision to constitute the expert committee because such panels will only delay things further and said, “But we cannot do anything as we were the only party which had expressed dissatisfaction on this regard during the all-party meeting.”

“Since the expert committee has been formed, we will not sit idle on the issue but we will ensure that the exercise is completed so that the reservation policy is fully implemented,” he said.

He also slammed the political parties for allegedly pretending to have forgotten about the reservation policy. “We see that almost all political parties have forgotten and have gone to slumber. With all due respect to political parties, they don’t have much concern about the reservation policy despite the fact that our youth are facing lots of problems. Therefore, KHNAM is a movement to remind people on this issue,” Neng added.

Further, the KHNAM leader said that the Chief Secretary had informed that there are lots of expenditures in constituting the expert committee, which also has its office in New Delhi while urging political parties especially those which have staged a massive protest not to abandon the issue halfway.

The five-member expert committee headed by the Former Judge of Madhya Pradesh High Court Justice (Retired) Mool Chand Garg was constituted on August 25.

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Former Judge of Allahabad High Court Justice (Retired) Dr Satish Chandra was also appointed as an expert member in Constitutional law. Justice Chandra is also a former president of the Custom, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal.

The other three expert members are Prof DV Kumar from the Department of Sociology, NEHU, Shillong as an expert member in Sociology, Prof Chander Shekhar from the Department of Fertility and Social Demography, Indian Institute of Population Sciences (deemed to be University), Mumbai as an expert member in population studies and Prof Subhadip Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy in IIM, Shillong as expert member in Economics.

The terms of reference of the Expert Committee is to study the current reservation policy and recommend modifications, if necessary and to undertake wide-ranging consultations with all stakeholders and visit various locations of the State to solicit the views of all stakeholders. The Committee has been asked to complete its task within 12 months.

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