New Delhi: Of the 82 secretaries working in various ministries in the Narendra Modi government, just four belong to the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities, the Rajya Sabha was informed Thursday.
Answering a question regarding the number of secretaries belonging to SC/ST across ministries, Minister of State for Department of Personnel and Training Jitendra Singh said, “There is one secretary each belonging to SCs/STs in Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Department of Land Resources, Department of Pharmaceuticals, and Ministry of Labour & Employment.”
The question was asked by CPI(M) MP K. Somaprasad.
However, when Nationalist Congress Party MP Husain Dalwai sought to know the representation of SCs, STs, Muslims and OBCs in top ranks of the government, Singh said the government does not maintain representation data at senior positions.
“The representation based data is collected only at the time of initial recruitment. Appointment/promotion to senior positions is not on representation basis and such data is accordingly not maintained,” the minister said in a written reply.
Dalwai had asked for the percentage of representation of Dalits, Muslims, OBCs and adivasis in the government as secretary, joint secretary, additional secretary and deputy secretary as of today and their total force.
9% officers of joint secretary rank & above are SC/ST
According to a government reply to an RTI application filed by ThePrint, no more than 9 per cent officers holding the rank of joint secretary and above belonged to the SC/ST communities as of last year.
According to the same RTI reply, while there were 451 officers and above — including 81 secretaries, 75 additional secretaries and 295 joint secretaries — until last year, there were no more than 40 officers from the SC and ST communities.
According to 2011 Census data, there were 20.14 crore people belonging to Scheduled Castes, with Dalits accounting for 16.6 per cent and STs 8.6 per cent of the population.
While there is no provision for reservation for SCs/STs in posts under Central Staffing Scheme (CSS), the government generally insist that at the time of empanelment, efforts are made to include officers belonging to SC/ST communities, if necessary, by adopting liberal benchmarks.