Knowledge Commission against religion-based quota: Pitroda

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New Delhi, Jan 19 (UNI) The National Knowledge Commission, the high level advisory body appointed by the Prime Minister, today said it was against religion-based reservation and felt that the government should focus more on providing equal opportunities to all.

''There is no change in our previous stand on the issue,'' NKC Chairman Sam Pitroda said after briefing reporters here about the Commission's second report presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday.

He was asked about Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil's statement this week in which he said the government was looking into the demand of minorities for reservation.

Mr Pitroda said the Commission's views on the issue had been made clear long ago, and it was up to the government to accept it or reject it.

Earlier, taking up the same question NKC member Jayati Ghosh said, ''We don't think that reservation is the way. We should rather stress more on increasing participation in schools and expanding higher education facilities.'' Moreover, she said according to the Supreme Court judgment reservations cannot exceed 50 per cent.

The Commission had faced differences in views on the quota issue, and some of its members supporting reservations had over a year ago resigned reportedly in protest.

The quota debate was sparked again by the Home Minister at the annual conference of state Minorities Commission in which, referring to the demand, he had said ''If something was required to be done, it should be done. We have to apply our mind how to do it.'' However, later, Union Human Resource Minister Arjun Singh had said there was no proposal before the Centre for giving reservation to minorities.

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