10% Quota for EW General Category

TIMELINE FOR RESERVATION

This is not the First time Quota Reservation has hit the Court and Parliament. There is timeline being followed by the politicians from time to time to amend the Quota Reservation in India across on the basis of Castes and Income.

    ANNOUNCEMENT

    The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment introduced the Quota Bill.

    Lok Sabha passed a Bill allowing 10% Quota in Employment and Education for the General Category candidates who belong to the Economically Weaker Sections.

    The 10% reservation will be over and above the 50% stipulated by the Supreme Court and is expected to benefit a huge section of upper castes, including Brahmins, Rajputs (Thakurs), Jats, Marathas and Bhumihars and trading castes like Kapus and Kammas.

    ELIGIBILITY To all those who are not covered in the Existing Quotas and fulfills the following conditions are eligible for new 10% Quota –
    1.     Annual Income below Rs 8 Lakh
    2.     Agricultural land less than 5 hectares
    3.     Residential Property less than 1,000 sq. ft.
    4.     Residential plot less than 109 yards in Notified municipality and 209 yards in Non-notified Municipality.

    IMPLEMENTATION

    • Any reservation beyond the 50% limit will require the government to get a Constitutional Amendment passed in Parliament.
    • This may amount to “Sacrifice of Merit” and violate Article 14 (Right to Equality)
    • Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution will have to be amended for implementation of the decision.
    • The Article 15 (1) and (2) prohibit the state from discriminating any citizen on ground of any religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
    • The Article 16 (1) and (2) give a general rule that there shall be equal opportunity for all citizens in government jobs.

     

    • The 124th Constitution Amendment Bill, 2019 will have to be passed by both Houses of Parliament by a special majority of two-thirds of the members present and voting, which should not be less than one-half of the total strength of the House.
    • If it is not passed by both the Houses within the term of this Lok Sabha, it will lapse.

    EXISTING RESERVATION STATUS

    According to the Mandal Case Judgement in 1992, currently there is reservation cap of 50% by Supreme Court

    • 15% for Scheduled Castes
    • 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes
    • 27% for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes, including widows and orphans of any caste, which is permitted

     

    • Tamil Nadu has been following 69% reservations in admission to medical, engineering and arts and science colleges since 1994 through an act passed under the Ninth Schedule to keep it outside judicial review.

    (Ninth schedule was introduced into the Constitution along with Article 31B by 1st Constitutional Amendment Act in 1951.

    Article 31B provides that any law made by State that is also placed under Ninth schedule cannot be challenged in a court of law. Courts cannot exercise power of judicial review in this case.)

    • Backward Classes (26.5%), Most Backward Classes/ De-notified Communities (20%), Backward Class Muslims (3.5%), Scheduled Castes (18%) and Scheduled Tribes (1%).

    FUTURE IMPLICATIONS

    • If the Supreme Court indeed agrees to lift the 50% cap, all States of India can extend the quantum of reservation and “the people without any quota” will stand to lose in State services.

     

    • If the Supreme Court rejects the idea of breaching the 50% cap, Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quotas can be provided only by eating into the SC, ST and OBC quota pie, which will have social and political implications.

    IMPORTANT TERMS

     

    Vertical ReservationThe reservations in favour of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes [(under Article 16(4)] is called Vertical Reservation.

    The Total percentage of Reservation for the above three categories should not exceed 50% at any point of Time.

    Horizontal Reservation – The Reservation in favour of Ex-servicemen, Person with Disability, Sportsmen, Minorities, women etc may be called Horizontal reservation.
    Horizontal reservations cut across the vertical reservations – also called as Interlocking reservations.

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