Bhopal- In Madhya Pradesh, a growing concern surrounds the state government's apparent disregard for the welfare of Dalit-Tribal government employees. These dedicated individuals, belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Tribe category, have been grappling with an agonizing wait of 16 years for promotions. The crux of the matter lies in the delayed implementation of the 'Gorkela Committee's Promotion Rules 2016, as the state government remains inactive, leaving around 60 thousand officers and employees in the SC/ST category without the crucial career advancements promised by the long-awaited promotions.
In 2017, the draft of new promotion rules was prepared, courtesy of the Gorkela Committee. Despite the committee's efforts, the state government has not been able to push the promotion rules through the Cabinet for the past six years. This delay raises concerns about the government's commitment to the rights of Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
The Madhya Pradesh Scheduled Caste Tribe Officer Employees Association (अनुसूचित जाति जनजाति अधिकारी कर्मचारी संघ-AJAX) initiated the demand for reservation in promotions in 2012. AJAX conducted numerous protests at district, division, and state levels. Responding to the escalating movement, then Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan announced at the provincial convention of AJAX in Bhopal on June 12, 2016, that reservation in promotion would persist. He assured that if necessary, new rules would be established.
To fulfill this commitment, the government formed the Gorkela Committee, headed by Manoj Gorkela, a Supreme Court Advocate and Special Counsel of Madhya Pradesh. The Committee drafted new promotion rules and submitted them to the General Administration (Personnel) Department. Despite these efforts, the rules have not been implemented. Manoj Gorkela also represented the government in the Supreme Court regarding reservation in promotion.
Speaking to The Mooknayak, Vijay Shravan, AJAX provincial spokesperson, expressed disappointment, stating that the government was initially supportive of implementing reservation in promotion. He emphasized that the rules, once established, would benefit everyone, including OBC and general category officer employees. Shravan urged the government to enact the Gorkela Committee's Promotion Rules 2016 draft.
The issue of reservation in promotion faced a setback in 2008 when the Gwalior High Court declared it unlawful to grant promotions based on reservation merit in the Promotion Rules 2002. The government's weak advocacy during the case in court possibly contributed to the ban on reservation in promotion. The government challenged this decision in the Supreme Court, where advocate Manoj Gorkela represented the government. In 2016, the Supreme Court directed the state government to formulate rules on reservation in promotion. The subsequent Gorkela Committee's new promotion rules, however, remain unimplemented.
An estimated 60 thousand employees in the SC/ST category are awaiting promotions out of approximately seven lakh officers and employees in Madhya Pradesh. The absence of promotion opportunities has deprived them of essential career advancement, with hundreds of reserved category employees retiring without promotions from 2006 to the present year.
Story Translated by Geetha Sunil Pillai