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And now Schedule Community..

Indian Government is again about to play its same old card - the ST, SC and OBC quota. This time Schedule Community i.e SC. The Ministry of Social Justice is showcasing an amendment in the Constitution to add denotified tribes as a new beneficiary of reservation with the job quota ceiling raised beyond 50 per cent — the limit fixed by the Supreme Court.

Govt has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to consider the proposal of the National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes to provide reservation to them by adding a new Article 342A defining the tribes as a ‘Scheduled Community’.

Other amendments proposed are providing electoral reservation to the Scheduled Community in Lok Sabha, state legislatures, Panchayati Raj institutions and urban local bodies as well as setting up a permanent National Commission for DNTs like those for SCs and STs that have powers of a civil court and monitor the safeguards of these sections.

Around 11 crore people belong to 150 denotified tribes such as Pardhi, Baori, Sansi, Berad and Kanjar Bhat or 1,500 semi-nomadic or nomadic tribes like Nat, Dombari, Sapera, Madari, Van Gujjar and Kalandar.

Other privileges proposed by the Ministry are providing a special housing scheme with campaigns to issue ration cards, BPL (Below Poverty Line) cards, voter identity cards to these tribes.

"After the Cabinet’s in-principle approval, a detailed scheme will be formulated and will be submitted for Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs’ approval for implementation from next financial year 2009-10," says the Ministry on the Centrally-sponsored scheme.

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