A wall painting at one of the streets in Kohima

Kohima: A working group was set up on Friday to review Nagaland’s reservation policy and put forward its recommendation to the state government, officials said.

The 15-member working group has seven ministers and advisors, and one member each from eight civil society organisations, they said.

The decision was taken at a crucial consultative meeting on the reservation policy under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary J Alam.

The meeting, convened by the state government through the cabinet sub-committee on reservation policy headed by Deputy Chief Minister Yanthungo Patton, was held at Hotel Japfu here.

Ministers Neiba Kronu, Metsubo Jamir and P Paiwang Konyak, Advisors KT Sukhalu, Zhaleo Rio and Toshi Wungtung from the cabinet committee were present in the meeting.

Representatives of Rationalisation of Reservation Policy, Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation, Eastern Naga Students’ Federation, Eastern Nagaland Gazetted Officers Association, Central Nagaland Tribes Council, Naga Students’ Federation, Tenyimi Public Organisation were also present.

Representatives of the Nagaland Public Service Commission were also present in the meeting.

Briefing the press, Kronu said the meeting had fruitful deliberations with the stakeholders on the current reservation policy of the state.

Earlier, 25 per cent was reserved for the backward tribes of Eastern Nagaland, and another 8 per cent for the other backward tribes such as Chakhesang, Zeliang and Pochury.

A few years back, the quota for the backward tribes from Eastern Nagaland was kept the same, but reservation for the other three backward tribes was enhanced from 8 to 10 per cent. Also, another 2 per cent reservation was introduced for the Sumi tribes of the Kiphire district.

Kronu said the reservation policy for the backward tribes has been in existence since 1977.

However, the policy underwent several changes over the years, he said.

The working group will meet on March 20 to discuss the suggestions presented in Friday’s meeting and review the job reservation policy, which would be then submitted to the government by the cabinet sub-committee, the minister said.

The working group members would consult their tribes and dive into details before submitting the views, he said.

The Eastern Naga Students’ Federation has been demanding that 25 per cent quota for the backward tribes from Eastern Nagaland be increased to 45 per cent.

The demand was criticised by other groups. Amid the row, the state government had to put on hold the functioning of the newly-constituted Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB), which was notified in July last year.

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