PROCEEDINGS OF THE MEETING OF ORISSA SCHEDULED CASTES WELFARE ADVISORY BOARD HELD ON 10.06.2005 AT 11.30 AM IN THE 3RD FLOOR CONFERENCE HALL OF SECRETARIAT.
The meeting of the Orissa Scheduled Castes Welfare Advisory Board was held on 10.06.2005 at 11.30 A.M. under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Orissa. The list of members participated in the meeting is at Annexure-1 and the list of officers at Annexure-II.
At the outset, Prof. Kalindi Behera, Minister, ST & SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare, Orissa welcomed the Chief Minister of Orissa and the Chairman of the Advisory Boar, Member of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assembly, Chief Secretary, Orissa, Development Commissioner-cum-Addl. Chief Secretary, Orissa and other members present in the meeting. He also requested the Chief Minister to preside over the Advisory Board meeting.
The Chief Minister of Orissa while welcoming all the members of the Advisory Board, the officers and members of the media asserted that the Government is committed to bring all-round development of about 60 lakhs Scheduled Caste population which constitutes 17 % of total population of the State. He also expressed his pleasure that literacy percentage of Scheduled Castes has gone up from 36.78 % in 1991 census to 55.53 % in 2001 census. He reiterated the decision to extend benefits of Sarbasikshya Abhijan to all the schools under the control of ST & SC Development Department. He further informed the August House as regards agreement with Government of India for enhancement of relief to SC & ST victims with effect from 07.01.2004 and request of Government for release of more funds to OSFDC for covering more numbers of families. The Chief Minister expressed his hope and trust of the members of the Board for deliberation and offering valuable suggestions for overall progress of all the members of Scheduled Castes in the State.
Then the Advisory Board discussed in detail about the Agenda items of the meeting as follows:
1. CONFIRMATION OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE LAST MEETING HELD ON 30.10.2002:
The members discussed the proceedings of the last meeting of Orissa Scheduled Castes Welfare Advisory Board held on 30.10.2002. While discussing, the members namely: Sri Jogendra Behera, M.L.A., Sri Baidhar Mallick, M.L.A., Sri Mohan Jena, M.P., Sri Bishnu Ch. Das, M.L.A., Sri Trinath Behera, M.L.A. and Sri Ananta Sethi, M.L.A. raised the objections that the proceedings of the last Board meeting have not been circulated to the members and they expressed their disappointment at not holding the Advisory Board meeting atleast twice in a year. The Hon’ble Minister informed the Board members that the proceedings of the last meeting have been circulated to all the members of the previous Board. Minister, SC Development told the August Body that due to non-receipt of the Agenda points from the members, the Department could not prepare the Agenda notes before sufficient time of the scheduled meeting. However, the Hon’ble Minister assured the August Body to ensure supply of proceedings of the meeting and agenda notes to all the members in time and also assured to conduct Advisory Board meeting at least once in every six months. Some of the members of the Advisory Board requested the Chairman of the August Body to hold the meeting before Budget session. After detailed discussion, it was decided to hold the meeting once a year, during November and the next meeting of the Board will be held in November 2005. The minutes of the last meeting were confirmed.
2. ACTION TAKEN ON THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE LAST MEETING.
The action points on the proceedings of the last meeting were discussed and resolved as follows:
a) Para – 2.1
The Higher Education Department have reserved 38 % of seats in educational institutions vide their letter No.36979, Dt.23.09.2004. Hon,ble Member, Sri Mohan Jena, raised objections that the instructions of Higher Education Deptt. have not been implemented by any of the educational institutions as it has not been advertised in daily newspapers. After detailed discussion, it was decided to implement the enhanced reservation of 38 % in all the educational institutions from the year 2005-2006. It was also decided tobring out advertisements in the newspapers about the orders of Higher Education Department as referred.
b) Para – 2.2
It was decided to discuss regarding restructuring of T.D.C.C. in the next meeting of the Tribes Advisory Council.
c) Para- 2.3
As regards clearance of the pending cases with O.S.F.D.C. it is reported by the M.D., OSFDC, Bhubaneswar that there are 52 proposed for individuals under NSKFDC Term Loan Schemes, 39 and 152 Group and individuals schemes respectively under NSTFDC and 29 and 425 Group and individual schemes respectively under NSFDC term loan schemes relating to the year 2004-2005 pending for disbursement due to non-availability of funds under different categories of the schemes. The Board was informed that the clearance of the pending cases depend upon flow of funds from different National Corporations as per existing guidelines.
While discussing the issue, the members opined that the District Level meetings of OSFDC are not being held regularly and the proposals received from district levels are not being held carried out properly by OSFDC, It was also mentioned that the loan schemes are not being made through local newspapers for information of the general public. After discussion, it was decided to make proper advertisements through local newspapers as well as through field functionaries for proper implementation of OSFDC loan schemes.
As regards inclusion of Bauri Baishnab in the Scheduled Castes lists of Orissa, it was informed to the August Body that the State Government have already recommended the caste to Government of India for inclusion vide this Department letter No. 42637 dated 23.11.2002 and formal orders are awaited.
e) Para – 4, 1 & 4.2
As regards revocation of the earlier recommendation of the Board to substitute certain names of new castes basing on the decision of the board on 27.08.1991 to delete some ‘derogatory’ castes names has been communicated to Government of India vide this Department letter No. 42637, dt.23.11.2002 to retain the earlier castes names and revoke the earlier recommendation as per decision of the Board in the meeting held on 3-.10.2002. The members expressed the view that it is not correct to hold any name of any community to be ‘derogatory’. The Board also decided unanimously that the word ‘Harijan’ should be avoided and instead the word ‘Scheduled Caste’ should be used.
3. RECOMMENDATION FOR INCLUSION OF THE CASTES IN S.C. LISTS OF ORISSA:
Discussions were made for inclusion of the following Castes in the Schedules Castes of Orissa and decisions were taken up as follows:
f) GAUDIA KELA/GOUDIA KELA
In all these cases, the Director, SC & ST RTI has recommended inclusion based on his assessment.
While discussing for inclusion of the above Castes in Scheduled Caste list, it was raised by the members that the points of erstwhile practice of un-touchability, non-entry into the temples and the social status of the community determine their need for inclusion in the SC lists. However, this is required to be verified thoroughly and without detailed study enhancing he number of SC lists in the State will not be proper. A detailed discussion followed regarding the merits of these cases. However, there was no unanimity on inclusion of any community except ‘Gaudia Kela’.
After detailed discussion, it was initially suggested to form a Sub-committee for assessing the status of the community by visiting to the areas where the above communities are concentrated in the State.
However, after detailed further discussion, it was decided that it would be more appropriate if a professional body is entrusted with this task of determining social status in an objective manner.
It was, therefore, decided to conduct detailed study on certain communities through “Nabakrushna Choudhury Centre for Development’, Bhubaneswar.
The Advisory Board unanimously resolved to recommend to Government of India that the caste ‘Gaudia Kela/Goudia Kela’ be included in the SC lists of Orissa.
4. PROBLEMS OF KEUTA/KAIBARTA COMMUNITIES:
Sri Jogendra Behera, Hon’ble M.L.A. & Member has requested for discussion of the problems of Keuta/Kaibarta and non-implementation of the ORV Act and orders of the Hon’ble High Court. Hon’ble Member also submitted 20 points of items for discussion in the August Body. It was decided to take action on the points by taking up with respective Departments.
5. REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF P.C.R. ACT AND SCs & STs (POA) ACT:
a) Discussions were made on enforcement of Protection of Civil Rights (PCR) Act, 1955 and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (POA) Act, 1989 in the State. It was raised by the members of the Advisory Board the District Vigilance Monitoring Committee and the State Level Vigilance Monitoring Committee of SCs and STs under the PoA Act, 1989 are not functioning properly. It was decided to ensure formation of the new committees within 15 days. It was also decided to conduct District Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee meeting in each quarter and ensure submission of the proceedings to Government for onward transmission of the report to Govt. of India.
b) ENHANCEMENT OF CASH INCENTIVES TO THE INTER CASTE MARRIED COUPLE:
In terms of Section 15- A of PCR Act, 1955, the State Government gives cash incentives of Rs. 3000/- to each couple performing inter-caste marriage. Member, Shri Jaydev Jena, MLA, Shri Mohan Jena, MP and and Shri Baidhar Mallick, MLA requested the Board to enhance the cash incentive to inter-caste married couple from Rs.3,000/- to Rs.50,000/-.
After detailed discussion, it was decided to enhance the cash incentive from Rs.3,000/- to Rs.10,000/- for each couple of inter-caste marriage with either of the persons from the Scheduled Caste and the other from outside the Scheduled Caste.
6. SANCTION OF LOANS TO SCHDUELD CASTE BENEFICIARIES DURING 2004-05 AND PROGRAMME FOR 2005-06:
After detailed discussion regarding poor finance by the OSFDC to the needy scheduled Caste beneficiaries of the State, it was decided that the OSFDC should ensure clearance of the pending cases for finance by obtaining funds from different National Corporations and apprise the progress in the next Advisory Board meeting.
7. PAYMENT OF PRE-MATRIC SCHOLARSHIP AND POST-MATRIC SCHOLARSHIP TO ST & SC STUDENTS:
The Board observed that the pre-matric and post-matric scholarship to ST & SC students are not being disbursed in time, causing hardships to the needy students for continuation of their studies. The Board also observed that the arrear dues of the scholarship have also not been paid to the students. It is also felt necessary to increase the diet charges of the students.
After detailed discussions, it was decided to streamline the disbursement of pre-matric and post-matric scholarships to ST & SC students in time.
8. (a) Hon’ble Member Shri Baidhar Mallick, MLA and Hon’ble Members raised the point for review of implementation of ORV Act and review of back-log vacancies of each Department. The Minister expressed that Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes candidate are not available in most of the technical posts. However, the Board decided that each of the Department should review the decision and submit reports to ST & SC Development Department for placement in the next Advisory Board meeting.
(b) The Members of the Advisory Board expressed their concern about proper maintenance and of Special ST & SC hostels in the State. They also categorically pointed out that Special Adivasi hostels located at Bhubaneswar city need to be supervised more closely.
The Vice-Chairman & the Member, Shri Bishnu Charan Das, MLA appraised the Board that the Committee on Welfare of SCs and STs of Orissa Legislative Assembly is closely supervising renovation of Special Adivasi hostels located in Bhubaneswar city and assured to ensure proper maintenance of other ST & SC hostels in the State.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks to the Chair and the Members.
Commissioner-cum-Secretary to Govt.,
ST & SC Development Department