JAMMU: The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved the proposal of inclusion of Jogi/Yogi/Nath/Bouria/Boria/Bowaria communities in the categories of Other Social Castes (OSCs).
Pertinent to mention that the Jammu and Kashmir State Commission for Backward Classes is the appropriate body to recommend the inclusion of communities in the list of backward classes. The advice of the Commission is ordinarily binding on the Government.
The Commission is mandated to examine requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a Backward Class in the lists and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any Backward Class in such list and tender such advice to the Government as it deems appropriate.
Various criteria/parameters are adopted by the Commission for declaring any class as ‘Backward’. These largely include socio-economic backwardness together with various other indicators.
Population of Boria, Bouria/Bowaria in the State is roughly 1500 with very low literacy rate of just 12%. They usually work as laborers. As regards Yogi/Jogi/Nath Community, Mandal Commission has declared Jogi/Yogi/Nath Community as Backward class. Their population in the State is approximately 40,000.
Keeping in view the inferior living conditions of these groups, the Backward Class Commission has recommended their inclusion in the other social caste category (OSCs).
The decision will go a long way in benefiting these communities in reaping the benefits of reservation.
The reservation in direct recruitment is to the extent of 43% which includes SC (8%), ST (10%), OSC (2%), ALC (3%), RBA (20%). Besides, ex-servicemen and physically challenged are entitled to horizontal reservation to the extent of 6% and 3% respectively.
Presently, 26 social caste communities are entitled to the benefit of 2% reservation under J&K Reservation Rules of 2005.