The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has asked India Inc to incorporate data of SC/STs recruited from January 1, 2007 onwards in their annual reports for the financial year ending March 2007.
If the department is not convinced with the voluntary affirmative action taken by companies, it will enact a legislation for mandatory reservation in the first quarter of 2007-08, according to a report in the The Economic Times.
The DIPP believes this data will reveal whether the private sector is committed to affirmative action.
The government had refrained from making job reservations mandatory following a commitment on voluntary affirmative action from by industry bodies like Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
If the DIPP finds that the private sector has not lived up to the government's expectations, it may introduce a legislation to make reservation mandatory.
In April, 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had urged the industry to broad-base employment and make it representative through an affirmative action.
He said industry could play a leading social role in the empowerment of the lesser privileged and ensure that no group feels excluded from enjoying the fruits of the economic boom.
Last year, an empowered group of ministers, headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, said that a job reservation in the private sector could be possible through amending the constitution and bringing in a new law, an issue that the cabinet should decide.
However, industry is skeptical about hiring their workforce on the basis of caste, as they believe that it would create a rift among employees and affect the productivity of companies.
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