The Supreme Court had upheld the Centre’s decision to give 10 per cent reservation to the poor in educational institutes and public employment.
New Delhi: Eyeing early Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, the government on Wednesday, in what can be termed as a major sop, approved a bill to provide up to 10 per cent reservations to the state’s economically weaker sections in government jobs and educational institutions.
The decision was taken at a Union Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to approve the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill 2019, official sources said. In January this year, the government had come out with a constitutional amendment bill to extend quota benefits to the economically weaker sections.
The Supreme Court had upheld the Centre’s decision to give 10 per cent reservation to the poor in educational institutes and public employment. The quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservations for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.
The court had observed that the move was an exception to equality as it intended to achieve “equality of opportunity”.
The government’s decision has also come at a time when speculation is rising over the abrogation of Article 35A, that gives special status to the state. It comes soon after the Centre deployed an extra 10,000 troops in the Valley.
The approval for the new bill “would pave the way of extending the benefit of reservation of up to 10 per cent for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in educational institutions and public employment alongside existing reservations”, the statement said.
The bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament soon as the proposed legislation could not be brought before the J&K Assembly, which has been dissolved, and the state is under President’s Rule.
The bill will pave the way for reserving state government jobs to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir who are from economically weaker sections belonging to any religion or caste, sources said.
The 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections was introduced in the country through the 103rd Constitution Amendment in January. This will be in addition to reservations available in Central government jobs, the sources added.