Thursday, March 30, 2023
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‘Why no reservation in lateral entry?’ OBC panel asks Modi govt after new recruitment ad

The govt is learnt to have sought a week’s time from the National Commission for Backward Classes to respond to its question.

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New Delhi: Days after the central government expanded its lateral entry scheme to engage more domain specialists as joint secretaries and directors, the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has questioned the absence of reservation for these positions, ThePrint has learnt.

According to sources in the government, at a meeting with the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) Friday, the commission flagged the government’s decision to not give reservation for these positions even though it is constitutionally mandated in the civil services — through which positions of joint secretary and directors are typically filled. 

“Reservations in government jobs are constitutionally and legally mandated, so the answer on why they are not extended to lateral entry has been sought,” said a government official, who did not wish to be named. 

The DoPT, it is learnt, has asked the commission for a week’s time to respond. “Since this is a constitutional question, time has been sought for a week or so to respond,” the official added. 

While the government’s decision to not give reservation in lateral entry has been criticised, this is the first time a government body has raised a question regarding it.

ThePrint reached the DoPT spokesperson through text message and call but did not receive any response to queries on the subject. 

Also Read: Arun Goel, lateral entrant joint secretary in commerce ministry, resigns after a year

The government’s stand

The government has maintained that it cannot give reservation for lateral entry since each post advertised is considered a single post. 

According to 2018 DoPT file notings regarding lateral entry, “In a single post cadre, reservation does not apply. Since each post to be filled under this scheme is a single post, reservation is not applicable.”

It is a stand the government has justified in Parliament as well. “…It was decided that it is difficult to provide reservation in these single cadre posts and it is not perhaps viable,” Minister of State for DoPT Jitendra Singh had said in the Rajya Sabha in 2019. 

The government first advertised 10 positions for joint secretary through lateral entry in 2018, with 30 more posts for joint secretary and director offered earlier this month. 

After the government advertised the fresh positions, Bhim Army chief and Dalit rights activist Chandrashekhar Azad described the scheme as a violation of constitutional rights and said he will gherao (surround) Parliament on 7 March.

“This is a way to let the government’s favourite people enter bureaucracy through the back door. It is not only a violation of the right to equality of opportunity of the Indian Constitution, but also unfair to those who are already part of the civil services and have to spend years before reaching the joint secretary level,” Azad added at a press conference.

Also Read: Lateral entry experts have ‘become like any IAS officer’ a year into recruitment


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  1. 10 posts and later 30 posts can not be called single post.constutition and constuition can not be ignored.reservation is applicable.

  2. 10 posts and later 30 posts can not be called single post.basic mathematics says 1 is 1 only.more than 1 is not 1.

  3. I agree. Reservation is not applicable to single posts. Besides, merit and competence are the factors here.

  4. Government is doing right thing,If some one is qualified and have idea how to uplift that sector then he must get the chance for resolving problems,Every developed country is giving chance through lateral entry eg USA.How an upse qualified person will know about every sector.

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