SCHEDULED CASTES, SCHEDULED TRIBES AND OTHER BACKWARD CLASSES
The Constitution of India provides for reservation in employment and educational institutions for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes. We must do even more to ensure justice to the historically disadvantaged sections of our people.
- Congress promises a holistic agenda of affirmative action for SCs, STs and OBCs who constitute a little more than 75 per cent of the population. Hence, Congress promises to set up an Equal Opportunities Commission, which will recommend affirmative action strategies and policies to achieve equality — and equity — in education, employment, and economic opportunities. We will implement the recommendations of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
- We will pass a law to restore the original purpose and intent of the 200-point roster system and implement it for the institution as a whole.
- Congress promises to fill all backlog vacancies reserved for SCs, STs and OBCs in government, semi-government and central public sector organisations within 12 months.
- Congress promises to amend the Constitution to provide for reservation in promotion posts for SCs, STs and OBCs.
- Congress will acquire panchami and mahar lands in the occupation of non-Dalits and distribute the lands to SCs and STs.
- We will implement a scheme under which basic amenities such as water, sanitation, electricity and internal roads will be provided in every SC and ST habitation.
- Special attention will be paid to the educational and health needs of the Scheduled Tribes.
- We will increase the number and extend the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship, presently available to SCs and STs, to scholars belonging to the OBCs.
- In order to enable SCs, STs and OBCs to compete as equals, Congress will require public schools to offer English as a language of studyin Classes VI to XII.
- Congress promises to pass a law to provide for reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs in private higher education institutions.
- We will work with State Governments to review the curriculum of schools and include texts on the history and culture of SCs and STs and the contributions made by leaders belonging to these communities.
- It will be our national mission to implement, in letter and spirit, the Forest Rights Act, 2006 and to secure for the Scheduled Tribes the rights guaranteed under the Act.
- Congress promises to remove the inconsistencies between the Forest Rights Act and the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority Act, 2005, and to reaffirm the role of the Gram Sabha.
- We promise a time-bound review of all IFR/CFR claims rejected under the Forest Rights Act and disposal within 6 months. Meanwhile, we will stop the eviction of the18.9 lakh households that face imminent eviction.
- We will establish a National Commission for Non-Timber Forest Produce and offer Minimum Support Prices for such produce to improve the livelihood and income of Adivasis.
- Under the Affirmative Action Programme, Congress will ensure that a fair share of government procurement and government contracts is given to SCs, STs and OBCs.
- We will pass a law to require governments to transparently disclose in their budget documents the allocations to SCs and STs under the Special Component Plan for SCs and Tribal Sub-Plan for STs and to prohibit diversion of such funds.