President Pranab Mukherjee, late on Wednesday evening, issued an order allowing Karnataka Governor to set up a separate Development Board for Hyderabad-Karnataka region, consisting of six districts, under the recently introduced Article 371J of the Constitution.

The districts to be benefited are: Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur, Koppal, Yadgir and Bellary.

The Board has come into force with immediate effect. It will ensure equitable allocation of funds to meet the development needs of the region from the State Budget. It will promote employment from the region by providing for local cadres in service; and provide reservation in educational and vocational training institutions to the locals.

The Presidential Order has been issued under the “State of Karnataka (Special Responsibility of Governor for Karnataka-Hyderabad Region) Order, 2013” under Article 371J of the Constitution.

Union Railway Minister and Lok Sabha member from Gulbarga Mallikarjun Kharge told The Hindu that the dream of the people in the six backward districts for the last 12 years had come true now with the establishment of the Board for their development. The districts would get special financial packages from various central ministries meant for development of backward areas and this could not be considered discriminatory.

As there was a constitutional protection – under Article 371J – the decision for providing reservation in jobs or educational institutions or other privileges could not be questioned before the court of law, Mr. Kharge said.

Informed sources said 21 out of 39 taluks in the six districts were “most backward”. The report on the human development index of regions also confirmed the same.

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