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Government considering reservation for minorities
Monday January 13, 2014 1:34 PM, IANS

Minority Affairs Minister K. Rahman Khan Monday said the government is looking into the issue of reservation for minorities as per the recommendations of the Ranganath Misra Commission report.

"The ministry is looking into recommendations of the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission for identification of socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities and to recommend measures for welfare," Khan said, addressing the annual conference of the state minority commissions.

The National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, headed by former chief justice of India Ranganath Misra, had suggested that instead of the 27 percent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs), 15 percent be set aside for Muslims and Christians, leaving 12 percent for the OBCs.

Khan added such reservation would be in tune with the spirit of Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution.

Article 15 of the Indian Constitution talks about prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and Article 16 is about equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.

He also said that the Jain community may soon be added to the list of minorities.

"The government is actively considering the inclusion of Jains in the minority community so that the benefits of welfare schemes run by the government of India could be extended to the Jain community also," Khan said.

At present, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) are notified as minority communities under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.

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