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Provisions for reservation solely on backwardness, not population, says GNC

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Tura, June 16: Oldest regional political party of Garo Hills- the Garo National Council has stated that the Constitution of India clearly states that provisions for reservations for backward classes, SC and ST, will be purely based in the line of socially, economically and educationally backwardness, and not in the line of population structures and political boundaries.

“Therefore reviewing or any form of modification of reservation policy of Meghalaya in the line of population structures and areas covered shall not be admissible as per the demand of the Voice of People Party,” stated the GNC general secretary Augustine R Marak in the party’s letter to retired judge M C Garg, who is the Chairman of the Experts Committee on the Reservation Policy of Meghalaya.

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The GNC has sought a status quo on the policy and points to the disparity in government recruitment when it comes to the garos.

The party cites the MPSC recruitment where the Khasi-Jaintia community are better placed in the appointment numbers given the economic and education advantage, and also points to the miniscule number of appointments at the district selection level for Garos in the Khasi Hills region.

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“There are over a lakh of Garos who are born and brought up in the different parts of Khasi Jaintia Hills and fluent in local language, but never been selected in district level recruitment in the Khasi Hills region since the creation of Hill State. So Garo People residing in Khasi Hills region are under social discrimination in terms of posts and services appointment, says the GNC leader expressing willingness to provide supporting documents or data to prove a point.

The regional party also highlighted the difference in level of development, by way of administrative offices, between the Garo Hills and Khasi Hills region.

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All the Secretariat and Directorate offices are in Khasi Hills districts. Khasi Jaintia Hills have 7 Districts, whereas Garo Hills have 5 Districts. Khasi Jaintia Hills have 5 civil sub-divisions whereas Garo Hills have 3 civil subdivisions, Khasi Jaintia Hills have 26 C&RD Blocks whereas Garo Hills have only 20 C&RD Blocks, stated the GNC letter.

The party also brought to the attention of the Expert Committee the disproportion in education facilities and the school results between the two regions of the state.

Citing this year’s Class X (SSLC) and Class XII (HSSLC) results, the GNC pointed out that in the Class X results, West Jaintia Hills secured first with 78.34%, East Khasi Hills 77.09% and East Jaintia Hills 70.88% passed percentages.

In class XII results, East West Khasi Hills 92.32%, East Khasi Hills 89. 96%, West Khasi Hills 87. 66% passed percentages.

The Garo Hills region could not even come any close to the top 5 ranked districts in passed percentages in every successive academic year, mentions the GNC.

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The Garo community is still lacking behind in all road and communications, health, social, economic and educational sectors and will never be able to compete with the two advanced Schedule Tribes of Meghalaya, namely Khasi and Jaintia Community. Therefore Garo National Council, (GNC) is totally against the idea of reviewing or any form of modification on Reservation Policy of Meghalaya 1972 and request your Chairmanship to recommend the STATUS QUO be maintained in Meghalaya Reservation Policy 1972 for better interest of Garo community in particular and Other Tribes of Meghalaya in general, demanded the oldest regional party.

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