The State government is, in principle, ready to increase the percentage of reservation for Scheduled Tribes in accordance with the population, said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at a function organised to mark the birth anniversary of Valmiki here on Wednesday.
“However, the government will increase the quota percentage for Scheduled Tribes only if the law permits,” he added. This is because the Supreme Court in its judgment in 1992 ruled that the total reservation under Article 16(4) should not exceed 50 per cent. The former Chairman of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes C.S. Dwarakanath told The Hindu that Karnataka could increase its total percentage of reservation only if the Centre agreed to include the law passed by the State in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution. Tamil Nadu had provided 69 per cent because the Act of that State was included in the Ninth Schedule.
The total percentage of reservation in Karnataka is 50 per cent: Scheduled Tribes – 3, Scheduled Castes – 15 and Other Backward Classes – 32.
According to the 2011 Census, Scheduled Tribe communities in the State number 42.49 lakh.