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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Granting quota in promotion to SCs/STs won’t hamper efficiency: Centre to SC

The Central government has told the Supreme Court that granting reservation in promotion to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe employees would not adversely affect the efficiency of the administration.

The apex court will hear the matter on Thursday.

Justifying its policy in granting reservation in promotion, the Centre, in an affidavit, said the policy instructions already exist in the government, which require maintenance of post-based reservation roster by the concerned cadre controlling authorities and its strict compliance.

“While considering the cases for promotion of employees, the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) is required to determine the merits of those being assessed for promotion with reference to the prescribed benchmark and accordingly grade the officers as ‘fit’ and ‘unfit’ only,” it said.

Emphasizing promotion would be given only to those officers who fulfil the benchmark of performance, the Centre said officers who are graded unfit will not be included on the select panel, and only those graded fit will be included on select panel in order of their inter-se seniority in the feeder grade.

“If none of the officers included in the DPC, as per composition given in the recruitment rules, is a SC or ST officer, a member belonging to SC or ST, if available within the ministry/department, is required to be co-opted,” the affidavit added.

The Centre said if no such officer is available within ministry, then they are required to be take from another ministry. “In the case of departmental qualifying examinations held for promotion, suitable relaxation is provided to SC/ST candidates,” it said.

The Centre further emphasized that it is following a policy which is compliant with the top court’s ruling in Nagraj case. Following top court’s direction, it, in the 96-page affidavit, also compiled voluminous data in connection with representation of SCs/STs in various departments and ministries.

The Centre said the annual performance appraisals reports (APARs) are evaluated while considering cases of confirmation and promotion, which captures assessment of work, output, personal attributes and competency of each officer. “Through APAR system, the performance of the individual officer is reported upon by the immediate senior officer and reviewed by the next higher officer,” the affidavit said.

Against the backdrop of non-breaching of the ceiling limit of 50 percent is concerned, the Centre added that in matters of promotion, “reservation is provided only to the extent of 7.5 per cent to STs and 15 per cent to SCs. There is no reservation in promotion to OBCs”.

The Centre filed the affidavit in connection with petitions on reservation in promotions to SC/ST employees.

On October 6, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal had submitted before the Supreme Court that it is a fact that even 75 years after gaining Independence, people belonging to SC/ST community in the country have not been brought to the same level of merit as the forward classes.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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