The Cochin Devaswom Board (CDB) is appointing 54 non-Brahmin priests, including seven from those belonging to the Scheduled Castes.
The Devaswom Recruitment Board has prepared the rank list after conducting a test and interview similar to those at the Public Service Commission.
Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said in a release here on Saturday that the rank list was prepared giving due weightage to merit and reservation.
The recruitment board had recommended appointing 70 priests. Of the 54 candidates who figure on the list, 31 came on merit list and only 16 forward caste candidates came on the merit list. Of the 34 candidates who were selected from the Ezhava community, 27 were in the merit quota. From Other Backward Class category seven candidates qualified for appointment, of which two candidates came on merit. Of the four candidates from the Dheevara community that qualified, two were selected on merit.
One candidate each from Hindu Nadar and Viswakarma community also qualified to become priests. They were interviewed by representatives of Tantri Mandalam and Tantir Samajam, the release said.