NCM opposes Centre's move to form Equal Opportunities Commission

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New Delhi, Feb 20 (UNI) The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) today expressed its strong opposition to the Centre's move to create an Equal Opportunities Commission, and decided to send a protest letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.

The Commission has great misgiving regarding the whole idea of setting up such a body, fearing that it would encroach on its functions and powers.

The subject was discussed at great length today at the NCM meetings, sources in the Commission told UNI.

The Members felt that an Equal Opportunities Commission would serve no useful purpose as the existing bodies like the Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Women, the Nationbal Commision for Scheduled Castes, and of Backaward Classes, Knowledge Commission, the Minorities Education Commission and itself were already mandated to do the job supposed to be created by the proposed commission.

There are plethora of commissions and committees whose reports are gathering dust in the government offices and were never likely to be implemented, so in such situatioin talking of creating one more commission was simply a fruitless exercise serving no purpose for the deprived classes, the insiders said.

The Commission's response came in reaction to the media reports that the UPA Government was going to set up an "Equal Opportunities Commission", with a mandate to address a gamut of issues relating to discrimination against the deprived section in public and private sector.

Such a commission would be a recommendatory body, listening to complaints about discrimination.

The proposed commission is being given final shape by a panel headed by legal expert N R Madhava Menon. It was set up by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

The suggestion to create an Equal Opportunities Commission was mooted by the Sachchar Committee in its report on 'Social, Economic, and Educational Backwardness of Muslims' but the proposed commission would be dealing with ''all deprived groups'' which are to be identified by the Commission itself.

UNI NAZ/AG LPB KN1810

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