Karnataka

Kannadigas to get priority in private sector jobs

The notification only asks industrial establishments to give priority to Kannadigas, but neither makes it mandatory nor states any punitive measures if the establishments fail to do so.

The notification only asks industrial establishments to give priority to Kannadigas, but neither makes it mandatory nor states any punitive measures if the establishments fail to do so.  

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Karnataka government notifies rules citing safety issue

The State government has amended rules directing industrial establishments that have taken any support from the government to give priority to Kannadigas in jobs on the shop floor in ‘C’ and ‘D’ category of employees.

The notification was issued on Saturday after amending the Karnataka Industrial Employment (Standing Orders), Rules, 1961.

Interestingly, the notification does not cite Sarojini Mahishi report that recommended reservation for Kannadigas in jobs in the private sector, but states lack of a common language as the cause of a majority of accidents on the shop floor. It states that 72% of accident victims were non-Kanndigas in the last decade, owing to communication gap, and pitches Kannada as the common language to reduce such accidents.

Draws ire of activists

The notification only asks industrial establishments to give priority to Kannadigas, but neither makes it mandatory nor states any punitive measures if the establishments fail to do so.

The notification has drawn the ire of Kannada activists, who have called it a diversion of purpose for seeking reservation for Kannadigas in jobs, since it does not cite the Sarojini Mahishi report.

“Seeking jobs as locals is our right and it is not simply related to safety issues. We will take it up with the government,” said T.S. Nagabharana, chairperson, Kannada Development Authority (KDA).

‘A charade’

S.G. Siddaramaiah, former KDA chairperson, said, “This does not help Kannadigas and only seems like a charade.” He argued that the issue of communication gap can be easily circumvented with another common language, which may even be English.

Labour Minister S. Suresh Kumar, however, said industries cannot be mandated to employ Kannadigas merely through an amendment to the rules. “We are considering promulgating a new legislation for reservation to Kannadigas in certain jobs in the State. This is only a first step,” he said.

The notification has settled a debate over who can be considered a Kannadiga for priority in employment: those “who are Indian citizens and are residing in Karnataka for not less than 15 years and are able to read, write, and speak Kannada language”.

Draft notification

An earlier notification had defined domicile status as those who have been residing in the State for not less than 10 years, which had been opposed.

A draft notification for the amendment was issued in May 2019 and the Cabinet cleared the final draft on October 31.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 10:50:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/kannadigas-to-get-priority-in-private-sector-jobs/article30234089.ece

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