The commission of inquiry on socio-economic and educational conditions of Muslims in Telangana has recommended to the state government to provide 12% or minimum 9% reservation to the community in jobs and education.
The government had last year constituted the four-member panel headed by former IAS officer G Sudhir.
According to the report, submitted in August but now made public, the data gathered by the commission shows that among the criteria (for backwardness) the Indra Sawhney case looks at, Muslims are below the state average in some of them and are socially and educationally backward and severely deprived.
“Therefore, Government may provide reservation to them. Given that more than 82 per cent of the Muslim population is already categorised as backward, there may be an increase in the reservation percentage to 12 percent or a minimum of 9 per cent based on their social and educational backwardness and deprivation,” said the report.
The panel observed that a suitable legislation needs to be passed duly obtaining legal opinion as the present provision of four percent reservation is continuing with interim order of the Supreme Court.
This was one of the key recommendations made by the committee for immediate implementation.
Muslims constitute 12.68 percent of Telangana’s population.
The commission also recommended that an Equal Opportunity Commission be appointed to oversee recruitment and training and other developmental programmes. This Commission will ensure that all communities in the state have equal opportunities in all fields, both in the private and the public sector.
The commission said the government should develop a diversity index already suggested by Sachar Committee (2006) and Kundu Committee (2014). “The Telangana Government should be the first to set up a committee to suggest how best the diversity index can be implemented. Any institution within the state would be evaluated for its diversity and given a ranking according to the diversity its human resource composition displays,” said the report.
It also called for extending Scheduled Castes (SCs) status to some acutely discriminated groups that perform the same occupation as some SC groups do.
The commission recommended that the government put in place a ‘Sub-plan’ for Muslims to be prepared as part of the state budget to ensure that all departments provide adequate funds for welfare of Muslims and to prevent diversion of funds to departments.
As a large number of Muslims are small entrepreneurs, a small start up fund must be allocated that will rotate its capital, provide collateral free investments, help and mentor small businesses and leverage the start up culture that exists among the very poor, the report said.
It called for providing scholarships to Muslims on demand by making adequate provision in the budget. The commission said Muslim students should get cashless admissions on par with SC and ST students.