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Kannadigas to get priority in private sector jobs

Topics Covered:

  1. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  2. Employment related issues.


Kannadigas to get priority in private sector jobs


What to study?

  • For Prelims: About the new policy of Karnataka.
  • For Mains: Significance, challenges and concerns associated, what is the need of the hour?


Context: Karnataka government has decided to amend the Karnataka Industrial Employment (Standing Orders), Rules, 1961 to give primacy to Kannadigas in jobs under Group C and D category in the private sector.

Sarojini Mahishi report had recommended granting primacy for the Kannadigas in the private sector jobs.

  • The government would be incorporating the provisions to withdraw government concessions to the firms on non-compliance.


Sarojini Mahishi Report:

The Karnataka government had formed a committee headed by former union minister Sarojini Mahishi in 1983 to recommend job opportunities for Kannadigas in Karnataka.

The important recommendations of the committee included:

  • 100 per cent reservation for Kannadigas in all state government departments and PSUs.
  • 100 per cent reservation for Kannadigas for Group C and D jobs in Central government departments and PSUs.
  • A minimum 80 per cent reservation for Kannadigas for Group B jobs in Central government departments and PSUs
  • 65 per cent reservation for Kannadigas for Group A jobs in Central government departments and PSUs.
  • All jobs in the private sector to be reserved for Kannadigas barring, if necessary, senior/skilled positions.


What’s the basis for this move?

Competition from outsiders: For at least over a decade, especially after Bangalore exploded on the national and global map as the most sought-after destination primarily for software development, it witnessed a huge population influx from all corners of India naturally upsetting the local and migrant balance and causing social friction primarily owing to economic reasons.

With not enough jobs being created and the poor spread of those that are getting created, the pressure on, and in, relatively better-performing states is growing.


Issues associated with this policy:

  1. By arm-twisting the private sector into forcibly hiring Kannadigas irrespective of merit or qualification, the indirect assumption seems to be that Kannadigas are incapable of finding jobs on their own merit or hard work.
  2. Even as the move will benefit the Kannadiga population, with 100% reservation, the private sector could suffer a setback as it would hinder choosing the best candidates, irrespective of the linguistic background or domicile of the person, to comply with the rule.
  3. Also, once it is enforced, there is no stopping other states from coming up with similar populist policies, even for white-collar jobs where merit is paramount for productivity. This could mean greater informalisation of labour, which in turn means greater insecurity for the same workers whose interests the Karnataka government is purportedly protecting with the move.
  4. It would also violate the landmark Indra Sawhney judgment of the Supreme Court which caps reservation “of any manner” at 50%.
  5. The end result of industry loss of confidence and business moving elsewhere would, of course, be a decline in the economic well-being of the Kannadiga blue-collar workers the policy is supposed to protect.


Sources: the hindu.

Mains Question: The Karnataka government has released draft amendments to the Karnataka Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Rules of 1961 that would implement 100% reservation for Kannadigas for blue-collar jobs in the private sector. Is it a good policy move? Critically analyse.