Jharkhand Assembly passes domicile policy based on Khatiyaan of 1932 and hike of reservation to 77 per cent

Ranchi: The special session of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly on Friday approved the definition of Jharkhand Local Persons and the resultant social, cultural and other benefits to be extended to such local people and hiking the reservation limit to 77 per cent by voice vote.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren has fulfilled his biggest election promise by getting this bill related to Khatiyaan-based ‘Local Policy’ passed in the assembly in 1932. Introducing the Bill in the Vidhan Sabha Soren informed that the local persons defined under this Act would be entitled to social security, social insurance and all schemes and policies of the State with respect to employment-unemployment. The local citizen would have privilege and protection over his land, employment, agricultural credit and other debts.

Along with passing this bill related to Khatiyaan based, the way to remove other difficulties that may come in future has also been taken out through this bill itself. Provision has been made in this bill that only a local person will be considered eligible for appointment against class 3 and 4 posts in the state government. In the one-day special session of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly the ‘Reservation in Vacancies in Jharkhand Posts and Services (Amendment) Bill, 2022’ was approved by voice vote.

This bill will come into effect after it is included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution of India. With this, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Extremely Backward Classes (Schedule-1), Backward Classes (Schedule-2) and economically weaker citizens will get 77 percent reservation in Jharkhand. With the passage of this bill, apart from OBC, the reservation percentage for ST and SC has also increased.

Presenting this bill in the special session of the Vidhan Sabha Chief Minister Hemant Soren said that there is a provision of 77 percent reservation in government appointments in the state through direct recruitment, while 23 percent posts will be filled by merit. According to this bill, reservation will be 12 percent for the Scheduled Castes, 26 for the Scheduled Tribes, 15 for the Extremely Backward Classes (Schedule-1), 12 for the Backward Classes (Schedule-2), 12 for the economically weaker sections in the state.

Defining the local policy, it has been said that this Act – ‘Jharkhand Act 2022 to extend the definition of local persons, social, cultural and other benefits to such local persons. It will be extended to the entire state. This Act will be effective after being included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution of India. Local person is an Indian citizen residing in Jharkhand, who resides within the territorial and geographical limits of Jharkhand. Also the name of his or her ancestors is recorded in the survey-khatiyaan (land records) of 1932 or earlier.

In the case of the landless, the local person will be identified by the Gram Sabha on the basis of culture, local customs and tradition. Whereas the person or his ancestors are living in Jharkhand since 1932 or earlier, but Khatiyaan is not available, or is illegible in case of them the Gram Sabha will have the right to identify them as local residents. Local persons as defined under this Act shall be entitled to maintain their land records on priority basis.

The Bill envisages that an imperative has been felt to define the local persons and their identity in order to confer certain rights and benefits on their land to the indigenous, tribal, domicile of Jharkhand. Earlier, after deliberations and detailed discussions with various political parties, intellectuals and various social organizations to define and identify the local person, the Department of Personnel, Administrative Reforms and Official Language on 18 April 2016 ‘Local Resident’ A guideline was issued to define ‘ but in spite of that the demand was raised by various organizations to define and identify the local people on the basis of Khatiyaan of 1932.

The bill states that immigration of people from other states before 1932 and after 1932 had a negative impact on the social development, living, customs and traditions of the natives. This can also be seen from the fact that the percentage of Scheduled Tribes in Jharkhand has seen a steady decline since the census of 9141. For this, the need for some affirmative action was felt at the policy level keeping in mind the upliftment and development of tribals and indigenous peoples.

It was told on his behalf that after the formation of the separate Jharkhand state on November 15, 2000, a cabinet sub-committee was formed on behalf of the then Chief Minister Babulal Marandi in 2001 under the chairmanship of the then Welfare Minister Arjun Munda to re-determine the percentage of reservation in the state. Keeping all the facts in mind, this committee had proposed to give 71 percent reservation, in which 12 percent was for Scheduled Castes, 32 for Scheduled Tribes, 16 percent for Extremely Backward Classes and 9 percent for Backward Classes.

Marandi’s government decided to give a total reservation of 73 percent on the basis of this report, in which 14 percent reservation was made for Scheduled Castes, 32 for Scheduled Tribes, 18 for Extremely Backward Classes and 9 percent for Backward Classes. In 2002, the High Court, while completing the hearing of a petition filed in the case of Rajnish Mishra vs State Government ordered the reservation limit to be capped at 50 per cent.

After this it has been decided to give 10 percent reservation for Scheduled Castes, 26 percent for Scheduled Tribes and 14 percent for Other Backward Classes (considering Extremely Backward Classes and Backward Classes as a consolidated category) in the state. Meanwhile, in the light of the 103rd Amendment Act of the Constitution of India, 60 percent reservation in the vacancies of Jharkhand posts and services (for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes) Amendment Act 2019 (Jharkhand Act-13, 2019) provision was made.

Under this, 10 percent of reservations for Scheduled Castes, 26 for Scheduled Tribes, 8 for Extremely Backward Classes (Schedule Class-1) and 6 percent for Backward Classes (Schedule-2), besides 10 percent for economically weaker citizens reservation has been made. In the bill introduced in the Vidhan Sabha, it was said that the demand for increasing the reservation limit was being made by the OBCs for a long time.

Whereas the central government also has 27 percent reservation for OBCs and 30 percent reservation for backward classes is in the neighboring state of Bihar. In the report of the cabinet subcommittee, the population of OBC was estimated at more than 32 percent. Along with this, the population of Scheduled Castes was 12 percent and according to the 1971 census, the population of Scheduled Tribes was recorded as 32.12 percent.

It has also come to the fore that the population of Scheduled Tribes is decreasing since the census of 1941, with the aim of protecting this class, it was decided to give 32 percent reservation. In this way, the backward population in the state is around 76%, which includes SC, ST, OBC- 1 and OBC-2. Therefore, to pave the way for their development, it has been proposed to increase  the reservation percentage. 

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