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Supreme Court upholds 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections

Supreme Court, on Monday, upheld 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Section in education and public employment.

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Supreme Court upholds 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections; the Constitution Bench ruled 3:2 in favour of the #EWS Quota

In a judgement that was eagerly awaited and was telecast live, the apex court of India upheld the validity of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment., which introduced 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in education and public employment.

A 5-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, S Ravindra Bhat, Bela M Trivedi and JB Pardiwala was set up for the same and ruled 3:2 in favour of the EWS quota with Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat dissenting. The apex court had reserved its order on the matter on September 27 after hearing over 20 counsels in seven days.

While pronouncing the operative part of the judgment, CJI read, “In view of the decision rendered by the majority, the challenge to the 103rd Amendment fails. The writ petition and other proceedings stands disposed of accordingly”.

Main points that were discussed:

  1. Did the 103rd Constitution Amendment breached the basic structure by permitting the State to make special provisions, including reservation, based on economic criteria?
  2. Did the amendment violate provisions by permitting the State to make special provisions in relation to admission to private unaided institutions?
  3. Did the amendment exclude the Socially Economic Backward Classes (SEBCs)/Other Backward Classes (OBCs)/(Scheduled Class( SCs)/Scheduled Tribes(STs) from the scope of EWS reservation?

What the judges said, in brief:

Justice Maheshwari: Reservation is an instrument of affirmative action by the State. Reservation structured on economic criteria does not violate or damage the basis structure of the Constitution. (Holds 103rd Amendment to the Constitution, valid).

Justice Bela M Trivedi: Reservation cannot be held violative of Article 14. Unequals cannot be treated equally. Treating unequals equally violates the Basic structure of the Constitution. The dream of India to be a country of equals is incomplete even till the completion of 75 years of independence. Cannot blame age old discrimination on castes only. (Upholds validity of the 103rd Amendment.)

Justice Pardiwala: (in a concurring judgment) Reservation is not an end but a means. A means to secure social and economic equality. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s idea was for 10 years initially, but it still continues. A continuous scheme of reservation becomes a vested interest.

Justice Bhat: (in a dissenting judgment) If this Constitution is something, it is the Articles 15(1) 15(2) 16(1) 16(4) of the Constitution. New reservation introduced under Articles 15(6) and 16(6) is not valid and is incorrect. It strikes at the heart of the Constitution. The Sinho commission was set up to examine economically weaker sections. Report published in July 2012, was based on the 2001 census. Provides data on Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. Bulk under below poverty line was in the sections as described under Articles 15(4) and 16(4). Amendment is valid but for answering the 3rd question, it has to go. Breaching the 50% cap would result in compartmentalisation. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s idea of reservations to be seen as temporary and exceptional, should be observed at all times.

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Governance

Dharavi redevelopment to have dedicated areas for manufacturing: Devendra Fadnavis

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Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi redevelopment will have dedicated areas for manufacturing…

Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

Devendra Fadnavis

The Mah Deputy CM says that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

As Dharavi redevelopment has been announced, doubts were raised on whether this locally evolved entrepreneurial hub will retain its spirit.  In a chat on Sansad TV with Sanjeev Sanyal, Member, PM’s Economic Advisory Council and a writer, on an Economic Sutra episode telecast on Nov 6, the Deputy Chief Minister had made it very clear how he foresees the future of Dharavi and Mumbai.

Saying that his government worked on clearing all the bottlenecks, he adds, “We understood that unless we have a place to rehabilitate people, which is nearby Dharavi, this project will not take off. We found out that there is around 42 acres of land which belongs to the Railways. We approached the Central Government and told them that we’ll free up your land. We’ll buy your land and we’ll give you a share in the profit and we entered into a definitive agreement and now they have handed it over to us.”

“The Dharavi Redevelopment project will be the most unique project ever done. In fact, this redevelopment was visualized by none other than Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 but nothing happened – until 2014 when Modiji came and we started governing Maharashtra. The redevelopment will be no less beautiful than BKC. Dharavi is just not a slum but it’s also a great manufacturing cluster, so what we did was that while planning this scheme we have created areas for this entire manufacturing industry along with planning for the rehabilitation of the people. Right now, this entire manufacturing sector is informal, but after this and over time they will come into the formal sector.”

Watch the full interaction here: https://youtu.be/FNeTrm0v0dw

Also, with Mumbai undergoing so many infrastructural changes, questions have been raised about retaining the quintessential character of “aamchi Mumbai,” which apart from being the financial capital of India is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant cities.

Speaking on the land issues, Fadnavis says, “The usable space in Mumbai is very little. It has length, but has limitations on the breadth so taking into consideration all these problems we wanted to design a very robust system for Mumbai for commuters and for vehicles. That’s why the all the new Coastal Road, which will decongest the western side of Mumbai. It will be a ring road type structure along the coast and this Western Expressway carries 60 percent of the Mumbai traffic right, so all that traffic will be mostly accommodated here.”

Commuting in Mumbai is a killer and every day Mumbaikars spend a lot of time on travel. Saying that he wants to reduce travel within Mumbai from anywhere to anywhere to an hour, Fadnavis explains, “Our Metro three is a very unique 40 kilometers of underground Network, which will be the lifeline of Mumbai. It is estimated to carry around 1.7 million passengers per day! All this work will be finished in two or three years and I want that from any place to any place in Mumbai one should reach within less than one hour – that is the planning. We are also trying to integrate the transportation system. Right now, our Suburban Railway is the lifeline of Mumbai. This Suburban Railway carries around 9 million passengers. The new Metro Network which we are creating will be carrying around 7 million or 8 million passengers, almost doubling the current number.”

Adding to this, the Deputy CM says that the 22 kilometers of Sea Bridge that will connect us to the hinterland, “so we have Mumbai, we have new Mumbai and that will be the third Mumbai that will be a land mass which will be bigger than Mumbai with new Mumbai airport. I think the future growth of Mumbai is on that side!”

Also read: Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Governance

Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm…

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm.

Dharavi

Is squalor for cameras, money more important than dignified living for the residents…  

Former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy’s Dharavi comments kicked off a storm when he said on Twitter that Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, ‘is not actually a slum but a tribute to the great entrepreneurial spirit of the weakest and smallest person fighting for his or her livelihood in Mumbai. It is also a model in collective coexistence in one of the toughest cities in the world, where nothing else matters. Not caste. Not faith. Not where you come from. But trust and togetherness.’

While this may be true, what is equally true is the squalor and subhuman conditions that reign supreme in this slum. Netizens felt that Nandy, by romanticizing poverty in this manner, was only feeding poverty porn and tourism. Nandy clarified that he was seeking to keep the spirit of Dharavi alive by “researching the architectural grammar, the cultural history that builds integrated and interdependent societies like Dharavi that have survived and flourished over decades and make that the base for the new redevelopment plans. Not just look at the future but also build in the past.”

The Maharashtra Government had on November 29, opened the financial bids for Dharavi redevelopment project.  While 3 companies Adani Realty, DLF and Naman Group had submitted bids, the Adani Group clinched the project with a INR 5,069-crore bid. The timeline for the entire redevelopment of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, might take close to 17 years, the rehabilitation of slum dwellers should be complete in seven years. 

Also read: Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health

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Governance

Job creation gets boost as 71,000 appointment letters issued by PM under Rozgar Mela

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PM Modi distributed about 71,000 appointment letters to newly inducted recruits under Rozgar Mela via video conferencing.

PM Modi

This is close on the heels of the 75k letters issued in October… At the monthly Rozgar Mela held on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi distributed about 71,000 appointment letters to newly inducted recruits under Rozgar Mela via video conferencing.

The Rozgar Mela is expected to act as a catalyst in furthering employment generation and providing meaningful opportunities to the youth for their empowerment as well as direct participation in national development. Earlier in October, 75,000 appointment letters were handed over to newly inducted appointees under Rozgar Mela.

PM Modi urged appointees to make the most of the new opportunities that are presented to them, highlighting that these appointment letters are only the entry point that opens up a world of growth for them.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said “The Rozgar Mela of today is proof that the central government is working in mission mode to provide employment opportunities to the youth of the country.” Throwing light on the Karmayogi Bharat technology platform that was launched, the Prime Minister informed the availability of many online courses for government officials.

He emphasised a special course designed for government employees called Karamyogi Prarambh and urged the new appointees to make the most out of it. Citing its benefits, the Prime Minister said that it will be a great source for their skill development as well as benefit them in the days to come. Urging appointees to share their experience of online training and provide constructive feedback to improve the Karmayogi Bharat platform, Modi said “We are already on our way to turning India into a developed country. Let’s take the resolve to move forward with this vision.”

What is the Rozgar Mela?

  • The Mela is step to accord the highest priority to employment generation.
  • The Mela works as catalyst to furthering employment generation and providing meaningful opportunities to the youth for their empowerment as well as direct participation in national development.
  • Physical copies of the appointment letters to the new appointees will be handed over at 45 locations across the country (except Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh).
  • In addition to the categories of posts filled earlier, posts of teachers, lecturers, nurses, nursing officers, doctors, pharmacists, radiographers and other technical and paramedical posts are also being filled.
  • A significant number of posts are being filled by the Ministry of Home Affairs in various Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
  • A recent addition is the Karmayogi Prarambh module, which is an online orientation course for all new appointees in various Government departments. They will also get an opportunity to explore other courses on igotkarmayogi.gov.in platform to enhance their knowledge, skills and competencies.

Also read: How police caught Aftab Poonawalla | Aftab Poonawalla case | Shraddha Walker

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