: The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to set up a permanent commission on forward classes to identify the problems of economically backward persons among forward communities and recommend welfare measures.

A sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court of India or a High Court will be appointed chairman of the Kerala State Forward Classes Commission. Secretary (General Administration) will be its ex officio Member Secretary. Two persons from the forward communities conversant in matters connected with forward classes will be appointed members of the commission.

An official release said about 26 per cent of the people in the State belonging to the forward classes were not covered under the reservation policies or programmes of the government. Owing to historical and social reasons, a good percentage of these communities were economically backward. This limited the scope for education and employment of the youth in those communities. Members of these communities also found it difficult to earn a livelihood or use opportunities because of other social, historical, and cultural factors. The commission would be able to address these issues, the release added.

It recalled that the government had earlier appointed V.M. Gopala Menon to study the problems of the economically backward among the forward communities and recommend welfare measures. Mr. Menon had recommended formation of a permanent commission. The Cabinet had approved his recommendations.

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