Devaswom boards stick to quota

Doors being thrown open to socially marginalised Hindu communities

KERALA: After Dalit priests were recruited to temples of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), doors of the board and the Cochin Devaswom Board (CDB) are being thrown open to socially marginalised Hindu communities.

A large number of candidates appeared for the post of Assistant Engineer (Civil) and Overseers in the TDB recently.

The Kerala Devaswom Recruitment Board (KDRB) will soon hold tests for recruiting priests to the temples of the CDB. Recruitment to the posts of clerks in the TDB will follow. Caste-based reservation will be followed in all these recruitments, including 60 vacancies of priests in the CDB, sources said.

Dalit priests were recruited to various temples of the TDB by following the reservation norms.

For the first time, reservation would be introduced in the recruitment for Assistant Engineers and Overseers, the board authorities pointed out.

The recruitment board will conduct examinations to 12 posts of Upper Primary Assistants in the schools run by the TDB after a directive from the HC in January.

However, the reservation policy will not be applied in this recruitment as the KDRB has been assigned only the task of holding the examination.

Moreover, the State government has not handed over the responsibility to hold the recruitment to the education institutions of Devaswom boards to the KDRB, officials said.

The government is still undecided about the introduction of 10% reservation to the economically weaker upper caste Hindu communities in Devaswom boards.

The State Law Secretary, in his report, had cautioned the State government that the “proposal to reserve posts solely on economic basis is a violation of the Supreme Court decisions.”

The report further noted that taking “such important decisions, having legal ramifications, without legal advice, that too contrary to the decisions of the Supreme Court, may end up as a vain exercise.”Board sources indicated that even after several months of the controversial announcement, they had not received any communication from the State government in that regard.



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