Monday, 7 January 2019

Modi govt announces 10 per cent quota for economically backward in general category

Modi Cabinet approves 10 per cent reservation for economically backward among general categories. Govt may bring a Constitutional amendment to introduce the change.The move is being seen as a step to consolidate the upper castes.

In a landmark move ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Union cabinet has approved a ten per cent reservation in jobs and higher education for "economically backward" sections in the general category.
A constitutional amendment bill will be tabled in Parliament Tuesday, the last day of the Winter Session. The proposed reservation will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation enjoyed by the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, taking the total reservation to 60 per cent.
The reservation will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation and the government will amend Articles 15 and 16 - which are on discrimination and equal opportunity - of the Constitution to implement it, PTI reported.

A Union minister said the bill once passed will amend the Constitution accordingly to give reservation to the poor among the general castes and classes.
"The bill will provide a shelter for upper castes under the rubric of fundamental rights. The court's rule of the maximum 50 per cent quota cannot fetter Parliament's right to amend the Constitution," the news agency quoted him as saying.
The constitutional amendment bill would be required as the constitution does not provide for reservation on the ground of economic conditions.
PTI also quoted a source in the government as saying the proposed amendment would help clear the 50 per cent cap on quotas set by the Supreme Court in the famous Indra Sawhney judgement.
TOI reported that those in the general category whose family income is below Rs 8 lakhs per annum and own less than 5 acres of land would be eligible. Further, the person's residential house should be below 1000 sq ft, and the residential plot should be below 100 yards in a notified municipality area and below 200 yards in a non-notified municipality area.
Among the major castes to benefit from the proposed law are Brahmins, Rajputs (Thakurs), Jats, Marathas, Bhumihars, several trading castes, Kapus and Kammas among other upper castes. It would also benefit the poor in other religions.

The move is being seen as a step to consolidate upper caste votes just ahead of the general elections. Most Opposition parties called it an election gimmick but are not likely to oppose it.

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