In a move thatâ€™s a step closer to reservation, the BS Yediyurappa-led Karnataka government on Saturday passed a notification giving priority to Kannadigas for clerical and factory jobs in private companies.
The state government is likely to come up with legislation detailing the percentage of reservation and detailed clauses. It had in November amended the Karnataka Industrial (Standing Orders) Rules, 1961 to make provisions for such reservation possible.
In his Independence Day speech, Chief Minister Yediyurappa addressed the growing demands for reservation for locals in jobs, and assured a lionâ€™s share of jobs for Kannadigas in Karnataka.
However, the move has been mooted by past governments as well. In February, the then HD Kumaraswamy-led government had introduced recommendations made in the Sarojini Mahishi Committee report of 1986, to give 100% reservation for Kannadigas in Group C and D jobs in private establishments.
The same proposal was also there in the 2017-18 state budget. However, after questions were raised by the Advocate General of the Karnataka High Court about whether the rule violates Article 19 of the Constitution, the recommendations were not enforced and jobs for Kannadigas were only made a priority.
Applicants who believe that they have been wrongfully denied a job can now write to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of the district complaining about the company. If the charges are proved, the DC can issue a notice to the company and the government can revoke incentives or facilities given to the company. Information Technology/Biotechnology sector and other sectors that demand technical knowledge will be exempted from this change.
The Sarojini Mahishi report prepared in 1986 recommended job reservations for Kannadigas in government jobs, public sector units and even in the private sector. Several of the 58 recommendations made in the report were implemented by the then state government and over the years, local organisations have demanded greater job opportunities for Kannadigas.
Earlier in 2017, then Labour Minister Santosh Lad in the Siddaramaiah-government had said 100% reservations for Kannadigas in private companies could not be taken ahead as it violates constitutional provisions for reservations.
Recently, the Andhra government became the first state to form such a law in the country wherein 75% jobs are reserved for locals in industrial units as well as factories established under public-private partnership mode. Under this policy, companies are also mandated to train locals with the state governmentâ€™s support if they are unable to source skilled workers locally.