Demand for Equity: Non-Tribal Community in Meghalaya Seeks Representation in State Quota

At present, the state’s job reservation policy allocates a 40 percent quota for Khasis-Jaintia, 40 percent for Garos, five percent for other tribes and 15 percent for the general category.
Demand for Equity: Non-Tribal Community in Meghalaya Seeks Representation in State Quota

New Delhi: Amidst ongoing discussions about reviewing the Job Reservation Policy in the state, the indigenous non-tribal community residing in the plains of Garo Hills has voiced their demand to be included in the state quota.

Former Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) member Sofior Rahman has submitted a letter to the Expert Committee proposing that Muslims, Hindus, Biharis, Nepalis and other communities categorized as "Indigenous Non-Tribal" should be considered for reservation, suggesting an allocation of 7.5% from the remaining 15% open category for their group.

At present, the state’s job reservation policy allocates a 40 percent quota for Khasis-Jaintia, 40 percent for Garos, five percent for other tribes and 15 percent for the general category.

“We endorse the state government’s efforts to promote equality among tribal communities, but there is currently no provision for indigenous non-tribal citizens of Meghalaya. Even after 46 years of statehood, the representation of non-tribals in government and semi-government positions, including school and college teachers, remains minimal at only 0.5%,” Hub News has quoted Rahman as saying. 

He highlighted that the non-tribal population in the state totals around 1.50 lakh, with a majority being Muslims.

Describing his community as socially, economically and educationally disadvantaged, Rahman highlighted that according to the National Statistical Office, the Muslim community faces significant educational disparities, falling even behind Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

“If the Government of Meghalaya includes the 7.5% reservation for non-tribals, they could classify us under the OBC category or Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category,” proposed the former minority MDC.

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