Bhubaneswar: Former Union Minister Srikant Kumar Jena Wednesday urged OSCBC Chairperson Justice Raghunath Biswal to suggest Odisha government to implement 27 per cent reservation both in job and education for OBC and SEBC communities immediately.
Jena in a letter to Justice Biswal said the OBC and SEBC students have lost about 4,000 seats in MBBS and thousands in engineering and other technical education. He added that thousands of students are losing job opportunities every year for the last 20 years due to the non-implementation of 27 per cent reservations for them.
Jena said Odisha is the only state in the country where “no” reservation is available in education for OBC/SEBC students though it was implemented from 2005 by the Government of India in all central universities and educational institutions of the Central government and other state governments.
The former Union Minister also sought the intervention of the OSCBC Chairperson to dispel the confusion created among OBC and SEBC communities of the state regarding their population.
Jena said the Government of India and all other state governments follow the 1931 caste census report. Odisha also follows the same and accordingly the population of OBC/SEBC in the state is 54 percent.
He said in Odisha, only 11 percent job reservation and not 27 percent is being implemented in the state citing the reason of the Orissa High court order which ruled that the total reservation cannot go beyond 50 per cent.
Jena regretted that the Odisha government is not raising this issue before the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court in its judgment on the Mandal Commission case has put a general condition that total reservation cannot exceed 50 per cent. But at the same time, the Apex court also said if any special condition prevails in any state it can exceed 50 per cent.
Jena said Odisha’s SC&ST population was 38.75 per cent then which has now given up to 40 per cent against the National average of 22 per cent.
Therefore Odisha stands as a special case and the matter could have been settled long before had the state government approached the Supreme Court, the former Union Minister said.