Srinagar, Mar 17: In a significant move, the administration of Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory on Friday granted another six months extension to Justice (retd.) G.D. Sharma-led committee for submitting its final recommendations.
The administration today granted a six-month extension to the committee headed by former High Court judge Justice (retd.) G D Sharma and comprising Munir Ahmad Khan (former police officer) and Rup Lal Bharati (former Indian Forest Service officer).
“ … Sanction is hereby accorded to the extension of the term of the Jammu & Kashmir Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Commission by a period of six months from the date of expiry of its extended term i.e. 19-03-2023 or till further orders, whichever is earlier, for making its final recommendations,” reads an order issued by the Department of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs, a copy of which is in possession of news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).
The panel has been granted another extension at a time when it is examining the issue of Reserved Backward Area(RBA)reservation after submitting its recommendations on the inclusion of new tribes/ classes in Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and Social Castes(weak and unprivileged classes) lists.
Under the J&K’s reservation rules, the RBA category has 10 percent reservation in jobs and admissions in professional courses. Till 2020, the RBA category had 20 percent reservation but it was halved by GC Murmu-led administration. Almost 1200-1300 villages each from Kashmir and Jammu have been notified as RBA till date on recommendations of a statutory panel by J&K’s successive elected regimes.
This is the third extension to the commission after its constitution on March 19, 2020 by the Union Territory administration.
In its recommendations submitted to the Government of J&K, the panel has recommended ST status for Paharis, Paddaris, Kolis and Gadda Braman tribes/ communities and SC status for Valmikis.
The panel has also recommended the inclusion of 15 new classes/communities in J&K’s social caste list, which would be rechristened as other backward classes (OBC).