Forward community list to benefit students, job seekers

State government has notified the list of 164 such communities

The benefits of economic reservation in employment and educational institutions and other welfare schemes will become one step easier for members of the forward communities with the State government notifying the list of 164 such communities.

Its for the first time that such a list, which covered the communities that roughly accounted for around 25% of Kerala population, has been published.

Nair Service Society (NSS), a forward community organisation, had locked horns with the LDF government over the delay in publishing the list, which was finalised by the A.V. Ramakrishna Pillai Commission in 2019.

The NSS had also secured an order from the Kerala High Court directing the government to release the list. The much awaited list was released on Friday after the NSS served a notice to the Chief Secretary for contempt of court.

The Hindu had earlier reported on the list, which included Hindu communities such as Nair, Pothuval, Kurup, Menon, Pillai, Kaimal and Unnithan among others. From the Brahmin community, Namboothiri/Namboothirippad, Potty, Bhattathiri/Bhattathirippad, Varma, and Tamil Brahmin found its way into the list, besides 16 Christian communities.

M.R. Hariharan Nair, the chairman of the Kerala State Commission for Economically Backward Classes among Forward Communities, said the list would make it easier for the beneficiary community members to apply for the socio-economic schemes such as scholarships, soft loans and vocational training programmes the panel may suggest in future. It would also be beneficial for applicants for the schemes offered by the Kerala State Welfare Corporation for Forward Communities, he said.

For economic reservation, the list would help the authorities to issue a positive certificate stating that the applicant belongs to the forward community than a negative certificate stating that the applicant did not belong to any community that enjoyed the benefits of any reservation, he said.

V.M. Gopala Menon, the member secretary to the Ramakrishna Pillai Commission, felt that the job seekers and students of forward communities could obtain community certificates from village offices for availing of the benefits under the 10% reservation for economically weaker sections.

Though the official list of communities belonging to the Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and others who enjoyed the benefits of caste reservation was available, there was no such list for forward communities, Mr. Menon added.

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