'Decision soon on chairperson for Backward Classes panel`

DH News Service

Social Welfare Minister Kagodu Thimmappa today said the State government will soon take a decision on appointing a new chairperson to the Karnataka Permanent Backward Classes Commission. The five-member commission will be in existence till 2001 July, but the present chairpersons tenure came to an end today.

Speaking to reporters here today, the minister pointed out that it will be difficult for the commission to function without a chairperson. As the commission has one more year to go, the government will soon appoint a new chairperson to ensure its smooth functioning. The appointment of the new chairperson will be a political decision. The present chairperson may be re-appointed or a new person may be entrusted the job. As of now, a decision on, who should be appointed as the new chairperson, is yet to be taken,he explained.

Outgoing chairperson of the commission, Mr Raviverma Kumar, today submitted a comprehensive report on Backward Classes, prepared by the commission, to the chief minister. Mr Thimmappa said the report will be tabled before the Cabinet to examine the recommendations made by the commission.

COMMISSION: The Karnataka Permanent Backward Classes Commission was set up in 1995 in accordance with a Supreme Court order. Prof Raviverma Kumar was made its chairperson in 1997.

The commission was set up to meet the following objectives: Ascertain whether any caste / community has been left out from BC list / accept representations from communities for inclusion in BC list and recommend the same to the government / conduct a comprehensive study of socio-economic status of BCs / ensure effective implementation of programmes / schemes launched for the welfare of BCs.

The commission has met the first objective and the report includes details of the recommendations made. At least 80 recommendations have been made suggesting inclusion of new communities in the BC list, Prof Raviverma Kumar told reporters.

DELETIONS: To a question whether there is a recommendation to delete any particular community from the BC list, he did not reply in the affirmative. Intervening, Minister Thimmappa said if there was any recommendation of that nature, a decision would be taken only after discussing it with the Cabinet.

Regarding study on socio-economic status of BCs, the minister pointed out that the commission could not conduct the study as there was rule which stated that such studies should be conducted only once in ten years. The last such study was conducted in 1994 and we cannot conduct another study on BCs till 2004. However, a comprehensive study on the socio-economic status of Scheduled Castes and Minorities was conducted before the completion of the ten-year deadline. Hence, the proposal to conduct a study on BCs will be examined,Mr Thimmappa explained.

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