Bengaluru Declaration calls for SC/ST quota in judiciary

The Bengaluru Declaration was recently adopted by the Karnataka State government sponsored Dr. B.R. Ambedkar International Conference 2017. The theme of the conference: “Quest for Equity”.

  • The declaration recommends a slew of affirmative action measures in private sector, judiciary, educational institutions, government contracts and promotions for Dalits.

  • The declaration has 40 recommendations under six broad categories — safeguarding the people, strengthening democratic institutions, deepening social justice, enhancing human development, ensuring responsive governance, and promoting social security.

  • Significantly, the Bengaluru Declaration called for upholding Rule of Law through police reforms and state action to prevent lynchings. It called for a law against gender and caste discrimination at education institutions.

  • It further recommended for SC/ST reservation in appointment of judges, promotions, government contracts up to ₹1 crore, in private higher educational institutions and private sector. It also proposes establishment of an Equal Opportunities Commission, to oversee affirmative action.

  • Much focus is also given on ensuring land ownership for SC/STs, including a proposal to establish SC/ST land bank, where government buys these lands at market prices and re-allots to the same community, to ensure non-dilution of ownership. It further recommends allocation of 20% of the land in private housing layouts for urban poor.

  • The declaration calls for a wider social security net. It recommended a “living wage” and comprehensive social security scheme for all labourers working in the unorganised sector apart from ensuring dignity in retirement through enhanced pensions of ₹1,500 per month.

The Bhopal Declaration that called for “liberalisation of capital for Dalits” was adopted in 2002 during the tenure of Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in Madhya Pradesh.


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