The Reservation Amendment Bill, seeking an increase in reservations in government jobs and educational institutions in Bihar, was passed in the state Assembly today. The Bihar Cabinet on Tuesday had cleared the proposal to raise quotas for Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the state.
The Bill was passed in the state assembly without Nitish Kumar’s presence.
The development came after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar proposed to increase reservations for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, as well Other Backward Classes and Extremely Backward Classes, to 65 per cent in the state, up from the 50 per cent ceiling set by the Supreme Court.
Under the revised quotas, Scheduled Caste candidates will have 20 per cent reservation, while those from OBCs and EBCs will get 18 and 25 per cent – a significant increase from the earlier (combined) 30 per cent. Reservation of two per cent has been proposed for ST candidates.
Combined with the Centre’s 10 per cent quota for the Economically Weaker Sections quota (EWS), the proposed reservation will go up to 75 per cent.
At present there is 18 per cent reservation for EBCs and 12 per cent for Backward Classes, 16 per cent for Scheduled Castes, and one per cent for Scheduled Tribes.
The existing three per cent reservation for women from backward classes has been scrapped.
The amended bill excludes the central government’s mandatory 10 per cent reservation for individuals from Economically Weaker Sections, and will take total quotas to 75 per cent. The report said 36 per cent of the Bihar’s 13.1 crore people are from EBCs and 27.1 per cent are from Backward Classes.
Of the rest, 19.7 per cent are from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes make up 1.7 per cent of the population. The General Category accounts for 15.5 per cent of the population, the report said.