Reservation of seats based on birth or domicile in Hyderabad Karnataka region is the most vital of the provisions of the proposed amendment to Article 371 of the Constitution.

The draft Bill empowers the President of India to provide special powers to the Governor to “pass special orders to provide reservation of a proportion of seats in educational and vocational training institutions in the Hyderabad Karnataka region for students who belong to that region, by birth or domicile”.

The Governor also gets special responsibilities of “identifying posts or classes of posts under the State government and in any body or organisation under the control of the State government in the Hyderabad Karnataka region and reserving a proportion of such posts for persons who belong to that region by birth or domicile and for appointment thereto by direct recruitment or by promotion or in any other manner as may be specified in the order”.

Union Minister for Power and Corporate Affairs M. Veerappa Moily circulated a copy of the draft Bill during his recent press conference in Bidar. Titled The Constitution Amendment Bill, 2012, it aims to insert section JD into Article 371. According to the Bill, the President can empower the Governor to establish a separate development board for Hyderabad Karnataka region, with the provision that a report on the working of the board will be placed each year before the State Legislative Assembly.

Funds for development

The Governor can also take steps to provide equitable allocation of funds for developmental expenditure over the region, subject to the requirements of the State as a whole. These changes will come into force on a date specified by the Central government.

Other models

“Article 371 had been amended earlier to create better facilities for Telangana in Andhra and Marathwada in Maharashtra. But the present Bill aims to contain the benefits of both Andhra and Maharashtra models,” Mr. Moily told The Hindu. The amendment aims to reduce the disparity in public employment and economic and social development between Hyderabad Karnataka and the rest of the State.

As a region, Hyderabad Karnataka is the most backward in the State. It contains 21 of the 39 most-backward taluks in the State, , according to the D.M. Nanjundappa committee report development index. Apart from this, the region contains five more-backward and two backward taluks, Mr. Moily said.

As per the State Human Development Index, Raichur, Gulbarga, Koppal and Bidar are the most-backward districts in the State. While the literacy rate of Karnataka is 75.6 per cent, the literacy rate of Hyderabad Karnataka is 64.93 per cent. There are no statistics of region-wise participation in public employment. But it seems to be low, he said.

There is a need for deliberate action to create increased opportunities for education and employment for the people of the region. Such inclusive growth is the objective of the Bill, he said.

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