Era of ST/SC Reservation Over? : Cabinet Approves

Here comes the caste free and religion free reservation

In a significant move ahead of the Lok Sabha elections to address demands of the poor among the upper castes, the BJP-led NDA government on Monday decided to amend the Constitution to provide 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in government jobs and admission to higher educational institutions.

Who  Benefits?

Families with annual income below Rs 8 lakh, across all religions, and those with farm land below 5 acre, house less than 1,000 square feet, or less than 100 yard plot in notified municipal area, plot below 200 yard in non-notified municipal area.

To enable extension of reservation to the poor among upper castes, the government has also proposed, through a Constitutional amendment, removal of the clause that allows the State to make reservation only for those it thinks are ‘not adequately represented’.

What’s in the Bill?

Cabinet approves introduction of The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Fourth Amendment) Bill; 10% quota in addition to existing cap of 50% reservation for SCs, STs, OBCs.

Given how the BJP had subtly used Modi’s backward class credentials to woo a large section of non-dominant backward class communities, the move has the potential to upset his image among backward communities.

Will ST/ Sc  Rservation be over?

The current reservation structure for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) will not be disturbed.

The idea is to carve out a separate category of reservation for upper castes without tinkering with the existing quotas.

Is it merely an Election Gimmick?

The Congress dubbed the Centre’s decision on Monday to provide 10% quota for the so-called economically backward sections (EWS) a political gimmick but hinted that it will support the bill in Parliament. A clutch of other opposition parties opposed the move, saying the ruling BJP had grown desperate ahead of the 2019 general elections. Do you agree?

The Congress, which recently trounced the BJP in three heartland states, said that without job creation, reservation in employment would just be another “jumla”(empty promise).

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