Dharmendra Pradhan. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Bhubaneswar, Jan 15 : Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday reiterated his request to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for reservations of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in government jobs and educational institutions and for Socially Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs) in educational institutions in the state.

In a letter, Pradhan said OBCs and SEBCs constitute a considerable portion of the total population in Odisha.

There are more than 209 communities identified as SEBCs in the state which are traditionally deprived of resources- many of them suffering the twin curse of poverty and illiteracy, he added.

"Central Government has provided 27% reservation to OBCs in government jobs as well as in educational institutions-a welfare measure upheld by the Honourable Supreme Court. However, even nearly thirty years of implementation of said reservations, it is difficult to decipher why Government of Odisha is not providing any such reservations to OBCs in public employment or in educational institutions and to SEBCs in educational institutions," said the Union Minister.

He said most states have implemented the 27% reservation quota in their state services and educational institutions.

Some states such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Bihar have raised the reservation quota to a much higher percentage in accordance with higher percentage of these special categories in their population, Pradhan informed.

He also urged the Chief Minister to take immediate steps to mandate a Backward Classes Commission to undertake a scientific and quantifiable study of the SEBCs in Odisha and explore options for a higher percentage reservation in Odisha given its unique demography.

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