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Kerala Cabinet okays 10% reservation for 'general category' in government jobs

PTI Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on October 22, 2020 Published on October 22, 2020

Also passes proposals regarding Police Act, IT Act, and agricultural prices

The Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday approved implementation of 10 per cent reservation in government jobs for the financially backward section in the general category, without affecting the existing ones.

This would be implemented by amending the reservation provisions in the Kerala State and Subordinate Services Rules, a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

 

The meeting decided the criteria for reservation after considering the recommendations of a two-member commission, headed by retired Judge K Sasidharan Nair and member Advocate K Rajagopalan Nair.

The eligible candidates will be selected on the basis of the income of the family and their financial backwardness, an official release said.

“The government had earlier decided to introduce a 10 per cent reservation in employment and admission in educational institutions for the economically backward sections in general categoryin the wake of the 103rd Amendment to the Constitution and notifications issued by the Central government,” it said.

Currently, 50 per cent reservation is set aside for scheduled castes/scheduled tribes and backward communities.

The State government said the new 10 per cent reservation would not affect the existing categories, but was for those who are economically backward in the general category.

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Amendments to Police Act

The Cabinet also decided to amend the Police Act to counter cyber attacks on women and children and decided to recommend the addition of Section 118-A to the Act to ensure severe punishment for the culprits.

“It’s a matter of great concern that there is an increase in crime through social media. Some of the recent crimes committed using cyber platforms have caused great concern in our society. Cyber attacks are a major threat to private life. It has been decided to amend the Police Act as it is found that the existing legal provisions were inadequate to fight such crimes,” the release said.

It also said that the Cabinet has decided to recommend to the Governor to issue this amendment as an ordinance.

The Cabinet recommended the addition of Section 118-A to the existing Police Act, providing an imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of up to ₹10,000 or both to those who produce, publish or disseminate content through any means of communication with an intention to intimidate, insult or defame any person.

Social media crimes

The government said there has been an increase in fake propaganda and hate speech on social media since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The Supreme Court had repealed Section 66-A of the IT Act 2000 and Section 118 (d) of the Kerala Police Act, 2011 on the grounds that it was against freedom of expression.

“The Central government has not introduced any other legal framework to replace this. In this scenario, the police are unable to deal effectively with crimes committed through social media,” the release said.

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Crop prices

Another decision taken was to fix base prices for 16 varieties of agricultural crops as part of measures to support farmers and to boost the agricultural sector.

The scheme will come into effect on November 1.

The base price is fixed for 16 varieties, including tapioca, banana, pineapple, cucumber, lentils, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, beans, beetroot and garlic.

This price is determined, based on the cost of production and productivity,the release said.

“The aim is to provide the farmer the base price even when the market price falls lower than that. This will ensure price stability and good returns for them. It will also protect the farmers from market price fluctuations. They will be interested in cultivating crops for which the base prices are fixed,” it said.

Government employee salaries

The State government also said that the five month deferred salary of government employees would be merged with Provident Fund on April 1, 2021 as an immediate liability of ₹2,500 crore would be incurred if repaid in cash.

The merged amount can be withdrawn after June 1 2021.

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Published on October 22, 2020
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