The Congress-led UPA Government told Parliament today that the National Commission for Minorities has recommended that Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes(SC/ST) converts to Christianity or Islam should continue to enjoy all privileges and benefits as SCs/STs.
Giving this information in the Rajya Sabha today in a written reply Salman Khurshid, Minister for Minority Affairs, said that in 1995, National Commission for Minorities, under Section 9(1) of the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992, recommended that Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes(SC/ST) converts to Christianity or Islam should continue to enjoy all privileges and benefits as SCs/STs on par with the SC/ST converts to Buddhism. Further, in 1997, NCM, under Section 9(1) of the NCM Act 1992, recommended for the outright removal of the Proviso in Constitution(Scheduled Caste) Order, 1950 which confines the SC status strictly to three specified religions. Further, the National Commission for Minorities, in their Annual Report for 2006-07, have recommended that Christian and Muslim dalits, must be given the benefit of affirmative action through reservation.
Muslims and Christians have long been demanding amendment in the Constitutional Order of 1950 so that Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians could also be included in the list of SC/ST. National Commission for Scheduled Castes has also recommended their inclusion in the SC list.