The provisions of Article 371 (J) of the Constitution, aimed at bringing about all-round development in six districts of the Hyderabad-Karnataka region — Gulbarga, Yadgir, Bellary, Bidar, Raichur and Koppal, will come into effect straightway with Governor H.R. Bhardwaj approving relevant notifications on Tuesday ensuring reservation in employment and education.
The Governor has approved four important notifications as provided for under the 118th amendment — Article 371 (J) — to the Constitution and, among other things, this will enable the formation of the Hyderabad-Karnataka Region Development Board Order 2013. Henceforth, the Governor would play a significant role in the development of the region. The other notifications are the Karnataka Educational Institutions (Regulations of Admission in the Hyderabad-Karnataka Region) Order 2013, which provides for reservation of 70 per cent of the available seats in Hyderabad-Karnataka Region and 8 per cent seats in State-wide institutions, the Karnataka Public Employment (Reservation in Appointment for Hyderabad-Karnataka Region) Order 2013, which provides for the creation of a local cadre and reservation in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region as: Group A Junior Scale — 75 per cent, Group B — 75 per cent, Group C — 80 per cent and Group D — 85 per cent, besides reservation of 8 per cent of the posts in the State-level offices or institutions or apex institutions.
Mr. Bhardwaj has, by an order, also notified the Karnataka Private Unaided Educational Institutions (Regulations of Admission in the Hyderabad Karnataka Region) Order 2013, which provides for reservation of 70 per cent of the available seats in every course of study in any regional university or educational institution referred to in the First Schedule, 8 per cent of the available seats in every course of study in a State-wide university or a State-wide educational institution. Among the States that enjoy a special status under Article 371 are Andhra Pradesh (Telangana, Rayalaseema and Andhra), Maharashtra (Marathwada and Vidarbha), Gujarat (Kutch and Saurashtra), Nagaland, Goa, Manipur, Assam, Mizoram, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra were accorded the status in 1956, and subsequently (in 1973 — 32nd amendment), Andhra Pradesh was segregated from this group. Given the provisions in the Constitutional amendment (which was approved by Parliament), the President (the Presidential Order) has entrusted special responsibility to the Governor to oversee the development of the region apart from the reservations in education and employment.
The all-important amendment to Article 371 came about at a time when Karnataka was heading for elections to the Legislative Assembly.
It is common knowledge that all political parties have over the past four decades appealed to the Union government of the day to enable a special status to the districts of the Hyderabad-karnataka region which have, by and large, remained backward since the reorganisation of States in 1956. It is another matter that the D.M. Nanjundappa committee report had made certain special recommendations for the overall development of the region, with funds drawn from the State’s coffers but a special provision made under the Constitution is now expected to make a difference.