National

Nagaland Minister Along Says Women Reservation In ULB, Govt Job Viva-Voce Marks Need Further Discussions

Nagaland Minister Temjen Imna Along emphasizes further discussions and discourse on the contentious issues of 33% reservation for women in urban local bodies and viva-voce marks in Grade-IV employees recruitment, stating that the government needs more time to consult with civil societies and NGOs to ensure inclusivity in decision-making. The Chief Minister and the state cabinet are committed to finding a solution that aligns with traditional Naga context," said the Higher Education and Tourism minister during an interaction with media-persons at the Kisama Naga Heritage Village.

Temjen Imna Along
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Nagaland Minister Temjen Imna Along said the contentious issue of 33 per cent reservation for women in urban local bodies and also cutting down the viva-voce marks in Grade-IV employees recruitment needs further discussions and discourse. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and the state cabinet always wanted to be inclusive in the decision for the ULB elections, but the government needs more time to discuss the matter with the Naga civil societies and NGOs so that urban local bodies can become a reality in traditional Naga context, said the Higher Education and Tourism minister.

He said this on Wednesday while interacting with media-persons on the sidelines of 'KAM', an initiative to clean Kisama Naga Heritage Village, the picturesque venue for the annual Hornbill Festival of Nagaland. On the recent Supreme Court notification charging the state government with 'contempt of court' for deciding not to hold the proposed May 16 ULB elections with 33 per cent women reservation, Along said "Our Chief Minister and the cabinet have always wanted to be inclusive in the decision for the ULB elections, but we also have to know that the traditions and the culture where the various tribal hohos (organisation) and apex bodies are involved.

"So the state government needs more time in contemplating and discussing further with the civil societies and NGOs so that ULB can become a reality according to the context of the traditional Nagas". Responding to another query on the Naga Students' Federation (NSF) demand for bringing down the viva-voce component in the combined staff recruitment exam 2022 from 12.5 per cent to 5 per cent, the minister said the government is ready to re-contemplate on the matter.

"What the NSF is trying to send across is for the government to contemplate; obviously there are many needs as Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB) is evolving as a new government agency for recruiting the ministerial staff and all," he said. He opined that a collective decision will be taken "very early" by the cabinet under Rio's leadership on those things that needs to be discussed and discoursed more. He hoped the students' body is also open to it. The NSF being a very concerned body of the Nagas, the government also needs to listen to their voice, said Along.

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