Chairman of the University Grants Commission Sukhdeo Thorat said on Saturday that various caste, sect and religion-based groups in the country were increasingly putting forth group-specific demands before the government. The challenge before academics was to identify their problems, study them and offer solutions.

He was delivering the keynote address at the inauguration of a two-day seminar on “B.R. Ambedkar and social justice in modern India: policies, institutions and experiences'' organised by the Centre for B.R. Ambedkar Studies of Mangalore University at Mangalagangotri.

Prof. Thorat said that earlier group-specific demands were restricted to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe groups. But in recent years, various castes, sub-castes, minority communities and nomadic tribes were coming out with different demands. People from different castes pressed for reservation in government jobs.

It appeared such demands were set to increase. The academics should study this issue and suggest remedies.

The chairman said that Dr. Ambedkar favoured implementation of “four-pillar policies” for inclusive growth of people facing discrimination in society. The policies were granting equal rights, legal protection through special laws, reservation and participation in governance.