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Dalits seek civil services seats in proportion to their population

Published Date: 11/10/2017

Kathmandu, November 10

Dalit rights activists have demanded that the draft of Federal Civil Services Bill should ensure reservation percentage for Dalits in proportion to their population.

The bill proposes that out of total reserved seats under general quota, 12 per cent will go to Dalits and out of total reserved seats for women 10 per cent seats will go to Dalit women.

Former chair of the National Dalit Commission Man Bahadur Nepali said Dalits constituted 14 per cent of population and since they  had faced the worst caste  discrimination for centuries, they should get   at least 16 per cent reservation to compensate for the past injustices.

Nepali said the actual population of Dalits could be higher, as many Dalit youths changed their surnames to Khas Arya surnames to save themselves from discrimination in society. Senior Vice-president of Dalit NGO Federation Bhakta Bishwakarma said the bill’s proposition did not ensure proportional seats to Dalits.

“Election laws have mandated the parties to ensure 13.8 per cent Dalit candidacy and the same proportion should be ensured by the new bill, if not more,” he said. He added that the best thing would be to give two per cent more seats to the Dalits in civil services to compensate for the sufferings of their ancestors.

He said Dalits’ representation did not improve much as the government agencies never did justice to them while filling vacancies. “I hope this does not happen again,” he said.

Dailts rights activist Bhola Paswan said Madhesi Dalits were the worst sufferers among the Dalits but the new bill did not breakdown the percentage of Madhesi Dalits.

“Madhesi Dalits should be treated as a separate cluster in the general quota and quota for women,” he said.

Paswan said he did a five-month research in 2014 on 1,159 civil servants selected through the Public Service Commission   and found that out of 661 candidates selected through open competition, there were only 15 hill Dalits and no Madhesi Dalit. Out of 498 candidates who were selected   through reservation process, 44 were Dalits, including only five Madhesi Dalits.  “Madhesi Dalits constitute 35 per cent of the total Dalit population and there should be clear allocation of seats for  Madhesi Dalits,” he added.

Reservation will apply to 45 per cent of civil service seats, of which 50 per cent will be allocated for women.

According to the draft bill, under the general quota, 26 per cent seats have been reserved for Madhesis and 12 per cent for Dalits. Similarly the draft bill proposes 20 per cent seats in the women’s quota for Madhesis and 10 per cent for Dalits.