Dalits Media Watch – English News Updates 17.12.15

 

Submit reply on Bhangi Gate, HC to ASI – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/indore/Submit-reply-on-Bhangi-Gate-HC-to-ASI/articleshow/50218786.cms

MP House panel to frame policy on SC/ST land pattas – The Times Of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/MP-House-panel-to-frame-policy-on-SC/ST-land-pattas/articleshow/50208353.cms

SC/ST Panel Issues Notices to Krishna Collector, Vijayawada Police Chief – The New Indian Express

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra_pradesh/SCST-Panel-Issues-Notices-to-Krishna-Collector-Vijayawada-Police-Chief/2015/12/17/article3182018.ece

Proper inquiry sought into complaints lodged by Dalits – The Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/proper-inquiry-sought-into-complaints-lodged-by-dalits/article7998347.ece

Odisha villagers demand legal rights to land they cultivate – The Hindu

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-otherstates/odisha-villagers-demand-legal-rights-to-land-they-cultivate/article7997937.ece

Amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 so as to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in respect of five States and in the Centra – The Business Standard

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/amendments-in-the-constitution-scheduled-castes-order-1950-so-as-to-modify-the-list-of-scheduled-castes-in-respect-of-five-states-and-in-the-centra-115121700417_1.html

Three charts that show why reservations are desirable – Live Mint

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/vq7cTOUmxzDSB4x5QwguVL/Three-charts-that-show-wh-desirabley-reservations-are.html

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The Times Of India

Submit reply on Bhangi Gate, HC to ASI

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/indore/Submit-reply-on-Bhangi-Gate-HC-to-ASI/articleshow/50218786.cms

TNN | Dec 17, 2015, 03.44 PM IST

Indore: Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court (MPHC) on Wednesday directed Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to send a detailed reply to a representation that had asked the ASI to de-notify the name of the ‘Bhangi Gate” of Mandu fort in Dhar . Division bench comprising Justice PK Jaiswal and Justice SubhashKakde while disposing of the PIL gave two months time to ASI to send a detailed reply to the petitioner. 

AnandRai, a petitioner, had sent a representation to ASI saying that name of the ‘Bhangi Gate’ (Sweeper’s Gateway) should be de-notified as it is against provisions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. 

“When ASI did not reply to our representation we moved the high court on the matter, the court has now given two months time to ASI to submit its reply on the matter,” said advocate AbhinavDhanodkar, who appeared on behalf of the petitioner. 

ASI’s website states a sweeper was immolated here as a sacrifice to the gods. After this human sacrifice, the gate came to be known as “Bhangi Gate,” the sad part is that no official of the ASI or the state government took notice of it and decided to change the name, Rai said.

The Times Of India

MP House panel to frame policy on SC/ST land pattas

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/MP-House-panel-to-frame-policy-on-SC/ST-land-pattas/articleshow/50208353.cms

SuchandanaGupta,TNN | Dec 16, 2015, 09.58 PM IST

BHOPAL: Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday advocated the constitution of an all-party assembly committee to chalk-out a policy on land patta distribution to SC/ST communities and the sale of those properties by beneficiaries. The matter was brought-up by BJP MLA LalitaYadav during the question hour.

The woman MLA’s question to revenue minister Rampal Singh asked if land pattas to the scheduled caste community were distributed in Chhattarpur tehsil between 1995 and 2003. She did not mention it but this referred to the the erstwhile Digvijaya Singh Congress regime when huge tracts of government `charnoi’ land was distributed under the Dalit agenda. LalitaYadav further asked if land was distributed under certain conditions.

She also asked about the ownership rights of beneficiaries and government role if the land `pattas’ are being sold. LalitaYadav said she is concerned that land pattas given to Dalits are being sold at extremely low rates. She said that instead of benefiting the deprived community, it might end up making them landless again.

Rampal Singh said that a list of 3,626 pattas distributed to SC community in Chhattrpur tehsil will be sent to her and an inquiry will be conducted to check if land is being grabbed from beneficiaries illegally. He pointed out that under the rules of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959 there is provision of such a probe. However, he added that once beneficiaries become owners of the land patta, they may sell the same after permission has been granted by the district collector.

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addressed the House on the issue. He said, “Land pattas have been distributed to SC/ST persons by the Congress and also later (meaning the BJP rule). It has repeatedly come-up that in the name of deprived castes, there are others who get the land. It has been alleged that there is some mess and confusion,” the chief minister said. “There is provision that ten years after getting the plot, the beneficiary who is the owner can sell the land after district collector’s approval. But the question is if he gets adequate money from sale of the land and also that the beneficiary again becomes landless.”

Chouhan proposed that an assembly panel be constituted with members of ruling party and the Opposition, so the entire land patta issue can be discussed and a solution reached. “This cannot be a one-party decision,” the chief minister said. Speaker Sitasharan Sharma said that the suggestion has come from leader of the House and he would soon constitute the assembly committee on SC/ST land pattas. 

The New Indian Express

SC/ST Panel Issues Notices to Krishna Collector, Vijayawada Police Chief

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra_pradesh/SCST-Panel-Issues-Notices-to-Krishna-Collector-Vijayawada-Police-Chief/2015/12/17/article3182018.ece

By Express News ServicePublished: 17th December 2015 05:22 AMLast Updated: 17th December 2015 05:37 AM

VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh State Commission for SCs and STs issued notices to Krishna district collector and Vijayawada commissioner of police after a petition was filed by advocate and PouraHakkulaSangham leader P Suresh Kumar on behalf of one P Durga seeking intervention of the commission to do justice to her.

According to Suresh Kumar, a couple of days ago, Durga, a roadside food vendor, was taken into custody by the police, who disrobed her and roughed her up, accusing her of engaging in prostitution. They also abused Durga in the name of her caste, he said disclosing that the incident happened within the limits of Patamata police station.

Kumar said Durga had closed her shop and was returning home in Ajit Singh Nagar when four people approached her, suspecting her to be a prostitute. However, when she started running away, they chased her. A   police patrol vehicle was coming in that direction. While two of the four persons  fled the spot, the other two told the police that she was a prostitute. Later,  she was taken to the police station.

When she came out of the police station, she wanted to go to police commissionerate to lodge a complaint, but the police who had assaulted her took her in a jeep stating that they would take her to the commissionerate. Instead, they took her to city outskirts and left her there. Later, she, somehow, managed to contact women’s organisations and with their help contacted advocate Suresh, who filed a petition in AP State Commission for SCs and STs.

The commission asked the collector and the commissioner of police to inquire into the veracity of the contents of the petition and accordingly take action against the accused. It wanted an action taken report at the earliest.

The Hindu

Proper inquiry sought into complaints lodged by Dalits

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/proper-inquiry-sought-into-complaints-lodged-by-dalits/article7998347.ece

STAFF REPORTER

Members of Social Justice Movement who petitioned the Coimbatore District Collector on Wednesday.—Photo: Special arrangement

Condemning the alleged action taken by the police in the favour of Caste Hindus when Dalits lodged complaints against them, representatives of Social Justice Movement tried to present a wreath to the officials at the Collectorate as a mark of protest. This caused flutter on Wednesday.

Police personnel took away the wreath and allowed members of the organisation to make a representation to the Collector. The protest that led to flutter coincided with a steering committee meeting chaired by the Collector in connection with cases of atrocities against Dalits. The movement’s president N. Paneerselvam alleged that police obtained counter complaints from Caste Hindus and initiated action against Dalit people, who were victims of atrocities.

Mr. Paneerselvam said that police and other authorities, who had to conduct an unbiased inquiry into atrocities against Dalits, were in favour of Caste Hindus. “This is the reason for acquittal of Caste Hindu oppressors,” he said, as he sought appointment of a special public prosecutor to appear for the Dalit victims of caste discrimination.

After petitioning the Collector, he said that they have urged the district administration and the police to conduct a workshop for police officers and personnel, on the recent amendments in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The Hindu

Odisha villagers demand legal rights to land they cultivate

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-otherstates/odisha-villagers-demand-legal-rights-to-land-they-cultivate/article7997937.ece

STAFF REPORTER

Inhabitants of Landabali village Indragadapanchayat in Kandhamal district of Odisha reached Berhampur on Wednesday to demonstrate in front of office of Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), southern division, demanding legal rights to the government land they have been tilling for generations.

These tribal and Dalits got support from the tribal organisationLokSangramManch (LSM) and the State unit of peasants’ organisation, All-India KisanMazdoorSabha (AIKMS). According to AIKMS national committee member B.C. Sarangi, around 30 poor tribal and Dalit families live at Landabali village and earn their livelihood by cultivating government land near their village for over three decades. Despite repeated demands they have not yet received patta for the land they cultivate, MrSarangi added.

Recently these poor families got panicked regarding their land rights because the Kandhamal district administration decided to rehabilitate around 15 families of Dhepaguda village on government land at Landabali village. Both these villages are in Raikia tehsil of Kandhamal district. In September this year due to geological reasons land had started to cave in at Dhepaguda village. So, around 32 families of Dhepaguda were to be rehabilitated at other places.

Fifteen families from Dhepaguda are to be rehabilitated near Landabali over 1.69 acres of land. But this patch is under possession of a woman named SabitriSethi. “My only source of livelihood is vegetable cultivation on this patch and I am worried because I have been served notice for eviction,” said Savitri.

According to her several times in the past she had tried to get legal right for this patch.

LSM and AIKMS activists said administration and government should look into this matter and rehabilitate Dhepaguda families on an alternate site. Also Landabali inhabitants be given the patta for the land they had been cultivating, they added.

Demonstrators also handed over a memorandum to the RDC, southern division.

The Business Standard 

Amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 so as to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in respect of five States and in the Centra

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/amendments-in-the-constitution-scheduled-castes-order-1950-so-as-to-modify-the-list-of-scheduled-castes-in-respect-of-five-states-and-in-the-centra-115121700417_1.html

Capital Market December 17, 2015 Last Updated at 13:43 IST

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi has given its approval for introduction of a Bill in the Parliament for certain amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 so as to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in respect of five States namely Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal and in the Central List of Other Backward Classes of the States of Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Kerala consequent upon inclusion of certain castes or parts thereof in the lists of Scheduled Castes.

The following castes/ communities, as per approved modalities, were found to be eligible for their inclusion in, exclusion from and other modifications in the list of Scheduled Castes:-

S.No. State Inclusion/ Exclusion/Other modification Community1 Chhattisgarh Inclusion (i) Sais, Sahis, Sarathi, Soot-Sarathi, Thanwar2 Haryana -do- (ii) Aheria, Aheri, Hari, Heri, Thori, Turi (iii) Rai Sikh3 Kerala Modification in the area of specification (iv)Malayan Inclusion (v)Peruvannan4 Odisha Exclusion (vi) Bariki (vii)Kummari5 West Bengal Removal of area restriction (viii) Chain

After the Bill becomes an Act, members of the communities included in the list of Scheduled Castes will be able to derive benefits meant for Scheduled Castes under the existing schemes. Some of the major schemes of this kind include Post Matric Scholarship, National Overseas Scholarship, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship, Top Class Education, Concessional Loans from National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation, Hostels for SC boys and girls etc. In addition to above, they will also be entitled to the benefits of reservation in services and admission to educational institutions.

Background:

The Constitution of India provides certain privileges / concessions to the members of Scheduled Castes which are notified under the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution of India. First list of Scheduled Castes in relation to a State or Union Territory is to be issued by a notified Order of the President after having consultation with the State Government concerned. Any subsequent inclusion in or exclusion from the list of Scheduled Castes can be effected through an Act of Parliament as envisaged under clause (2) of Article 341.

Six Presidential Orders were issued between 1950 and 1978 for specifying Scheduled Castes in respect of various States/Union territories. These Orders have been amended from time to time by Acts of Parliament enacted as per Article 341(2) of the Constitution between 1956 and 2015.

The Government approved Modalities in June 1999, as amended in June 2002, for considering proposals in regard to modifications in the lists of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. According to the approved Modalities, amending legislation to the concerned Constitution Order is proposed only in respect of such proposals of the concerned State Government/Union Territory Administration, which have been agreed to both by the Registrar General of India (RGI) as well as the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC).

Live Mint

Three charts that show why reservations are desirable

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/vq7cTOUmxzDSB4x5QwguVL/Three-charts-that-show-why-reservations-are-desirable.html

Scheduled castes are the most backward, followed by scheduled tribes and other backward classes, shows NSSO data

RoshanKishoreDipti Jain

In October, a two-judge Supreme Court bench commented that “national interest requires doing away with all forms of reservations in higher education”. The judges also expressed regret that “some privileges remained unchanged” even after 68 years of independence. Debate on reservations has always been of a polarizing nature in India and abroad.

Arguments for doing away with reservations after so many years of independence are based on two premises. One is that social inequalities have been bridged during this period.

Data shows this is not the case. There still exist large gaps between various social groups in terms of educational status, especially in higher education. Scheduled castes are the most backward, followed by scheduled tribes (ST) and other backward classes (OBC), National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) data show. A direct consequence of this gap is a small share of SC, ST and OBCs in the regular wage and salaried employment category in comparison with upper castes, as aPlainfacts piece pointed out last month.

There is further research to show the prevailing discrimination can be more acute than what the NSSO numbers capture. It is because NSSO treats all salaried employment (from a secretary level Indian Administrative Service officer to clerk) as one category. In a February paper published in the Economic and Political Weekly, Ankita Aggarwal, Jean Dreze and Aashish Gupta presented some stark findings based on a survey, which was conducted in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. The authors found that not only were upper castes disproportionately represented in government jobs, they also dominated other places of importance in civil society. The papers also cites secondary data to show there was minuscule SC and ST representation in top bureaucracy—less than 5% at the secretary, additional secretary, joint secretary and director levels.

The second argument against reservation assumes these lead to a loss in productivity or efficiency. This is based on the premise that to fulfil reservations in higher education, cut-offs are lowered for reserved category seats and hence merit might get compromised.

A 2012 National Bureau of Economic Research paper by Pennsylvania State University economists Veronica Robles and Kala Krishna based on what they call an elite engineering institution in India analyses targeting, catch-up and mismatch among reserved and non-reserved category students. The authors found reserved category students to be from poorer backgrounds than unreserved category ones (better targeting) but they did not find any evidence of convergence in grades as the course progressed (no catch-up) and a lower probability of SC and ST students getting placed in higher paying jobs (mismatch). The latter two phenomena can be used to argue reservations do not lead to unambiguous benefits.

However, there are studies which provide counter arguments to such research as well. In a 2011 paper, Ashwini Deshpande and Thomas Weisskopf, economists at Delhi School of Economics and University of Michigan, respectively, show that there is no evidence to suggest the higher proportion of SCs and STs in Indian Railways on account of reservations had reduced productivity. The authors even argue there might be a case to believe greater labour diversity increases efficiency.

Research based on an economic experiment by S.K. Thorat, former professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, and others showed caste-based discrimination might be at play in private sector recruitment, where candidates with upper caste surnames had a higher probability of being called for job interviews.

A comparison of average cut-off scores for SC, ST, OBC and upper caste students in M.A. and M.Phil entrance exams at Jawaharlal Nehru University shows catch-up might be at play in the university. The gap between reserved category and unreserved category cut-offs is less at the M.Phil level than M.A. A significant number of those who are admitted in M.Phil courses are M.A. students from the university itself, which shows equal access to education might be helping reserved category students reduce their learning gap with the unreserved category ones.

Finally, while the data and studies here show the time may not have come yet to do away with reservations, even its supporters have emphasized that it cannot be the sole means of dealing with existing inequalities, even in the field of education. Especially noteworthy is the fact that economic and social entitlements crucially determine the access to primary education, the state of which is far from satisfactory in India. The worst affected are lower caste groups given their overall backwardness.

News monitored by AMRESH & AJEET

 

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