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Delhi adds to OBC list with eye on election

New Delhi, June 5: In a move that could be electorally beneficial, the Centre has included five new castes of the minority community in its Other Backward Classes list.

The decision to include the Julaha-Ansari, Idrishi, Naddaf, Mansoori and Salmani castes, taken at today’s Cabinet meeting, is being interpreted as a move by the Centre to win over the minority community, especially with an eye on the Assembly elections in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh scheduled to be held this year.

The Cabinet has also sanctioned the inclusion of the Silawat community in Rajasthan in the OBC list, the Gowdas in Karnataka and the Turupu Kapu in Andhra Pradesh. The Centre’s move comes close on the heels of BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu’s statements, at a party rally in Uttar Pradesh last month, in favour of bringing poor members of the minority community within the ambit of reservation.

The Cabinet today also ratified the Saarc convention’s regional arrangements for the promotion of child welfare in South Asia. The guidelines aim to provide basic services for reducing infant and child mortality rates and ensuring the development of children.

The Saarc child welfare convention was signed by the foreign ministers of all member countries, including India, in January 2002. According to the convention, Saarc countries will cooperate with each other in areas of education, healthcare and nutrition.

The signatories are expected to safeguard children from discrimination and exploitation. The human resources development ministry recently set up a national commission for children to protect them from exploitation.

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