SHILLONG, May 22 (NNN): The Hynniewtrep Integrated Territorial Organization (HITO) today asserted the need for the Meghalaya government to review the job reservation policy of 1972, to ensure the Khasi and Jaintia communities are adequately represented based on the present population.
In a statement, HITO president Donbok Dkhar said it is evident that there is a genuine cause for the dissatisfaction of the Khasi-Jaintia Scheduled Tribe communities of Meghalaya and “it is imperative that the existing Job Reservation Policy of 1972 be reviewed by the government so as to ensure adequate and effective representation of the Khasi and Jaintia communities, based on the present population.”
He said the Meghalaya State Job Reservation Policy was introduced by way of a Government Resolution dated January 12, 1972, issued by the secretary (Special) to the Government of Meghalaya, so as to protect and safeguard the interests of the tribal communities of the State of Meghalaya.
As per the Job Reservation Policy as amended till date, there is a reservation of 40 per cent of the vacancies in favor of Khasis and Jaintias, reservation of 40 per cent of the vacancies in favor of Garos, and reservation of 5 percent of vacancies in favour of any other Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes of Meghalaya.
Stating that the job reservation policy as per the resolution of January 12, 1972, clearly states that reservation is based on population, Dkhar said, “However, it appears that the said Reservation Policy is not proportionate to the population of the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Scheduled Tribe communities in the State as on date, in as much as the same was based by the then policymaker(s) on their assumption instead of factual Census data.”
He said as per the 2011 Census, the Khasi and Jaintia communities comprise about 14,11,775 of the total population in the State, and the Garo community comprises about 8,21,026 of the total population in the State.
“The same goes to show that there is a majority of Khasi-Jaintia population in the State, however, the said communities are not adequately represented as per the existing reservation policy,” he said adding, “It is stated with heartfelt despondency that the Khasi-Jaintia tribes are being usurped of their rightful entitlements and as a result, the Khasi and Jaintia communities, especially the youth, are made to face serious difficulties in the State without any fault on their part. Further, the welfare, development and upliftment of the said communities are being hampered due to lack of adequate representation or reservation in government jobs.”
Further, the implementation of the roster system by way of an office memorandum was done without proper examination of the population structure and without weighing the pros and cons, he added.
Referring to a recent statement made by the general secretary of the Achik Conscious Holistically Integrated Krima (ACHIK) asking the VPP chief Ardent M Basaiawmoit to approach the apex court on the issue of job reservation policy, the HITO president said, “It is quite shocking that the said organization, despite being led by an advocate herself as General Secretary, is being swayed away for the best reasons known and is making such callous statements in media to approach the Apex Court, despite being well aware that we have our very own High Court of Meghalaya, which is the proper forum to approach in case of any legal grievances. And subsequently, if any party is aggrieved with the decision(s) of the High Court of Meghalaya, they can approach the Supreme Court.”
“Thus it appears that the said press statement was made without proper appreciation of the facts and with the sole objective to create socio-political unrest and to malign some political leaders and others who are rightly seeking a review of the existing Job Reservation Policy in the State,” it added.