Sharath S. Srivatsa
As the promotion process across departments in the State government has resumed as per the new reservation quota, employees belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have expressed fear of missing out on backlog posts.
The government, which notified the new roaster system to be followed after the Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Act, 2022, came into effect, left out the aspect of backlog posts in its December 28, 2022 order that was issued by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms.
Social Welfare Dept.’s view
This is despite the fact that the Social Welfare Department in its recommendation earlier sought the inclusion of the backlog posts in the new roaster system. “Additional points have to be given for backlog posts. This needs to be reviewed,” the Social Welfare Department has said in its opinion.
The new Act that came into effect on November 1, 2022, through an Ordinance, has increased reservations for SCs from 15% to 17% and for STs from 3% to 7%. The two Houses of the legislature also passed the Bill in December 2022.
“The promotion process has commenced in many departments while the issue of backlog posts has not been addressed yet. In the departments where backlog posts are available, the SC/ST employees could get affected without the inclusion of the backlog posts in the roaster system,” said D. Chandrashekaraiah, president of the Karnataka State Government SC/ST Employees Association. “The DPAR has assured us to look into the matter, and we are hopeful about it,” he said, adding that a memorandum has been given to the Chief Secretary and the DPAR in this connection.
History of backlog posts
The history of backlog posts goes back to 1978 when for the first time the State government provided reservation in promotion. Wherever a suitable SC/ST candidate was not available, the post was filled by a candidate from the general category, provided that the post would be filled up later when an eligible SC/ST candidate was available, and this was considered as a backlog post.
“In 2015, an order was issued to fill backlog posts through reservation and was brought within the roaster system. As per the roaster system under the new Act, 29 posts for every 100 posts being filled have to go to SCs and seven posts to STs under the backlog. This is besides the 17% and 7% reservation given under the Act,” Mr. Chandrashekaraiah pointed out.