BuzzBytes 17 Jan 2024:Sunil Prajapati, the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) OBC Morcha in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) Union Territory, along with Capt Romesh Lal, a National Executive Member of OBC Morcha, held a crucial meeting with the Secretary of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE), Government of India. The meeting addressed various significant issues related to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in J&K UT, focusing on their rights, reservations, and socio-economic well-being.One primary concern brought to the Secretary’s attention by Prajapati was the need for correction in the names of four OBC castes – Kumhars (Potters), Barbers, Washermen, and Teli – listed in the Centre OBC list of J&K. The term “Rural Only” against these castes has resulted in OBCs residing in areas other than villages being ineligible for OBC certificates for central government jobs. Prajapati, having approached the J&K Social Welfare Department earlier, sought the Secretary’s intervention to remove the restrictive clause, ensuring equal opportunities for OBCs.Another pressing issue discussed was the allocation of funds for OBC scholarships. Prajapati highlighted the absence of scholarship funds for the last two years, leading to hardships for OBC aspirants in pursuing education. The change in J&K’s status post the reorganization act in 2020 had disrupted the regular allocation of funds. With the recent approval of OBC reservation for J&K from December 26, 2023, Prajapati urged the Secretary to ensure prompt fund allocation to the J&K government, providing relief to economically challenged OBC students.The discussion further extended to the completion of construction work for an OBC Hostel Building in Kot Bhalwal, Jammu. Initiated in 2017, the construction faced a halt in 2019 due to lack of funds, leaving the building incomplete for five years. Prajapati sought necessary funds to resume construction, emphasizing the need for hostel facilities for deserving OBC students.In response, the Secretary MoSJE expressed understanding and directed the concerned department to expedite the resolution of the issues raised by Prajapati. The emphasis on correcting caste names, ensuring scholarship funds, and facilitating hostel construction underscores the commitment of BJP’s OBC Morcha to address the challenges faced by the OBC community in Jammu & Kashmir.