Kohima, November 28 (MExN): The Naga Students’Federation (NSF) on Saturday, opposed the demand for 45% reservation in the Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB) made by the Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF).
Voicing its opposition in a letter to the Chief Minister, the NSF stated that under the existing reservation policy, 25% has been allotted to eastern Nagaland tribes, 6% to Chakhesang/Pochury, 4% to Zeliang, 2% to Sumi of Kiphire and 4% to persons with disabilities.
“The total percentage of reservation in jobs in the state of Nagaland presently stands at 41%, which is perhaps one of the highest among the states in India,” it added.
Stating that the very purpose of the demand for setting up the NSSB in the state is to discourage random backdoor appointments and to encourage meritocracy, the NSF said that “In the given circumstance, if a particular group or community resorts to unreasonable and exorbitant demands both before the eye of the common men and the rule of law, it defeats the purpose of cohesive united stand on an equal footing in a harmonious society.”
It said that in case the state government ‘cower down’ to the demands of the ENSF, the total percentage of reservation in the state would increase to 61%.
“Such a development would be detrimental to the intellectual growth of the younger generation, defeat competitive mindset and ultimately murder meritocracy in the state. Be it the NSF or the ENSF, the purpose of any student organisation is to promote students and youth welfare activities with the ultimate purpose of promoting meritocracy,” it said in the letter.
Further stating that the federation is ‘crystal-clear’ on the criteria which will enhance and promote meritocracy in the examination process, it said that “There should be equal criteria on educational qualification for all jobs, because the qualificational divide between the so-called advanced tribes and the backward tribes is no more existent.”
It suggested that the cut-off marks on reservation quota for the backward tribes should be specified and the relaxed cut-off marks should neither be too high nor too low to become incompetent to man the post.
“Further, a specific cut-off year should be set out for periodical review of the reservation policy. Once the representation of the members of the backward tribes in the posts reflects fair representation, the reservation policy must be reviewed,” it suggested.
The federation wondered if the very purpose of the “exorbitant demand” made by the ENSF was to “sabotage and derail the long-drawn effort to constitute the NSSB.”
The NSF is “clear of our stand and has no mala fide intention against any group or organisation but keeping in view of creating sufficient rooms for promoting meritocracy and the spirit of competitiveness have taken this stand,” it said, adding that any policy decision that would defeat reasonable balance and negatively impact the harmonious co-existence of brotherhood and sisterhood of the Nagas will bear negative results.