File Pic Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File Pic Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Govt decides to grant 10 percent reservation to economically-weaker sections of upper castes

ANI | Updated: Jan 07, 2019 19:19 IST

New Delhi (India), Jan 7 (ANI): In a politically-significant move ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Government on Monday decided to grant 10 percent reservation in education and government jobs to economically-weaker sections of upper castes across religions.
The decision taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, surpasses the 50 percent ceiling prescribed by the Supreme Court.
"A proposal for 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker upper caste was approved by the Union cabinet today," government sources said.
For implementation of the decision, the Constitution will have to be amended as the Supreme Court had in 1992 put a ceiling of 50 percent on caste-based reservation.
The immensely significant decision of reservation based on the economic criteria rather than social or religion basis comes just months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
It will benefit upper castes of not only Hindus but also Muslims and Christians, a government source said.
"It's a historic step by the Modi government," said Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla, whose ministry is the nodal one for the purpose.
He said the reservation is meant for economically-weaker upper caste sections whose annual earning is lower than Rs. 8 lakhs and who possess less than 5 acres of land.
"It will not affect other reservation categories," the minister added.
Among the Hindus, the castes which would benefit from the decision include Brahmin, Banya, Bhaiyya, Thakur's and Kayasthas, a source said.
Commenting on the development, Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said, "We are in favour of reservation in jobs but the youth is asking when they will get the jobs."
He said the government has accepted in Parliament that there are 24 lakh vacant posts, which "have not been filled by the Modi government".
Welcoming the decision, BJP MP and Dalit leader Udit Raj told ANI that the 50 percent bar on quota is not a Constitutional binding and reservation can be provided even up to 70 percent.
In this context, he cited the example of Tamil Nadu, the state has reservation of up to 69 percent. (ANI)