Anomalies in reservation norms for ST category

Anomalies in reservation norms for admission to students belonging to the Scheduled Tribes at a newly opened college at Agali in Attappady appear to have defeated the very purpose for which the institution was opened.

When the college was sanctioned last year, the government had announced that 50 per cent of the total seats would be reserved for tribal students.

However, when the quota was fixed, tribal students secured admission to only two seats in a batch of 40 students. Twenty per cent seats in each branch are reserved for Schedule Caste/ Scheduled Tribes. Of this, 75 per cent is reserved for Scheduled Castes. Accordingly, out of eight seats reserved for Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes, tribal students got only two.

The fact is that tribespeople in Attappady comprise 44 per cent of the total population while the Scheduled Caste population is only seven per cent. Though six seats are reserved for the Scheduled Caste, the majority of these remain vacant for want of Scheduled Caste students.

The college authorities, when contacted, said the vacant seats of Scheduled Caste students cannot be filled with those belonging to the Scheduled Tribes. The college offers only six courses — Botany, Commerce, Zoology, Malayalam, History and Public Administration. P.V. Radhakrishnan, project officer with the Integrated Tribal Development Project in a letter to the Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Tribes P.K. Jayalakshmi on June 19, 2013, said “the existing quota pattern should be revised.

The letter also urged the Minister to sanction “10 additional seats for tribal students in each course.