Karnataka Plans 100% Quota Only For Locals In Private Blue Collar Jobs; Can It Ignite The Reservation Battle?


Karnataka Blue Collar Jobs

The horrors of Mandal Commission protests of 1990s have not been forgotten yet. The reservation debate and subsequent battle and chaos it generated is one of the black marks of our history. The divide it created between lower and upper castes (terms which should have been erased long back); and the way politicians exploited this divide is unparalleled in our short history.

It seems some politicians and policy makers from Karnataka are hell bent on re-igniting that fire, and relaunching reservation battle in their state, because very soon, 100% job quota for locals can be announced there.

This time, the divide shall be between locals and non-locals; between Kannadigas and non-Kannadigas. And the result shall be the same: division of society, and chaos all around.

The Reservation Plan of Karnataka

Karnataka Govt. is right now creating groundwork for making amendments to the Karnataka Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Rules of 1961, which will allow flat 100% reservation for locals in all blue-collar jobs.

Karnataka labour minister Santosh Lad said, “The amendment will give us the means to ensure that all private sector industries open their doors to us, to identify how many Kannadigas work in each company and rectify any discrepancies.”

Amazingly, the Govt. is considering a ‘lenient’ approach, in case private sector themselves allows 70% reservation in both blue and white collar jobs or else, 100% of blue collar jobs would be reserved for locals.

The Minister further said, “We’re not saying they have to pick a Kannadiga if there is none for the job. But we’re insisting that private industries employ Kannadigas as the first option.”

The Labor Department has already sent the proposal to Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, and once he approves it, the proposal will be passed on to the Law Department to make it a law. And once this 100% reservation for locals is made a law, then the companies employing blue-collar employees will have to first hire locals, and then if they can’t, then they can hire ‘outsiders’.

IT/Biotech Industry Reprieved As Of Now

Note here, that Karnataka Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Rules of 1961 forbids reservation in IT and Biotech industry for a period of 5 years between 2014 and 2019. Hence, IT and Biotech industry would be kept out of the reservation politics, but after 2019, they too can be included in it.

And if that happens, then Karnataka will surely lose a lot of business.

An official said, “We did not want to invite a problem with the powerful IT-BT lobby at this point in time. Let’s first implement this reservation and then take on the IT-BT vertical later..”

Implementation of 100% reservation for locals in IT and Biotech industry can prove to be disastrous for Karnataka, as the industry chooses their employees based on talent, rather their place of birth.

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu must be rejoicing now, as such reservation diktats means that the companies will swiftly switch base to these states, leaving Karnataka all alone with their prejudices and reservations.

If you are from Karnataka, then do share your views and opinions on this proposal to divide the society based on reservation, by commenting right here.

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