Nod to caste-based census puts focus on pvt sector reservations
Nistula Hebbar
Posted online: 2010-08-16 23:54:16+05:30

New DelhiThe green signal to caste-based census enumeration has also
put the spotlight back on the whole question of reservations including
affirmative action in the private sector. Minister for social justice
and empowerment Mukul Wasnik has prepared a status report on the
progress on that front and slammed industry bodies and chambers for
being laggard in maintaining even basic records of employment figures
of backward communities in the private sector.

It may be recalled that as far back as 2006, the issue of affirmative
action in the private sector was taken up with industry bodies
volunteering a code of conduct to help increase access to employment
by backward communities. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at that time
had asked his principal secretary TKA Nair to look into the matter.
After being in cold storage for sometime Wasnik had stirred the coals
yet again by writing a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the
matter in May this year. He had been asked to prepare a status report
on the issue thereafter.

The document, accessed by Financial Express states explicitly that,
“the number of companies which have adopted a code of conduct on
affirmative action remains limited. In respect of Ficci and PHDCCI
this information is not available.”

The voluntary code also enjoined upon companies to initiate skill
development among backward communities, which too have been found to
be lacking. The report states, “CII, Assocham, and Ficci have taken
certain steps for skill development of the SC/ST youth, the actual
training provided is quite marginal.”

“The number of companies which are reporting data on appointment of SC
and ST in their annual reports is also not available,” the report

The report makes it clear that, “there is no information available on
the appointment of an Ombudsman by Industry Associations to monitor
compliance with the voluntary code of conduct.”

In the UPA-I, the issue of affirmative action in the private sector
had been a big issue, but had gradually lost steam thereafter.
Wasnik’s report is to revive the process yet again.


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