10% quota in Gujarat from today
The Gujarat government said on Sunday that it will implement 10% quota in government jobs and higher education for the economically backward in the upper caste category from January 14.
AS has been reported in the Free Press Journal earlier, the 10% quota is an old Gujarati wine which was taken off the racks by the Gujarat High Court.
Hemmed in by the proreservation Patidar agitation, the then Anandiben Patel-led BJP government in Gujarat, on April 30, 2016, had announced 10 per cent quota in jobs and college admissions for the economically backward among upper classes through an Ordinance.
The decision was taken at a core committee meeting of the Gujarat BJP in which national president Amit Shah was also present. The new quota took the State past the 50 per cent reservation limit set by the Supreme Court. Predictably, the 10 per cent reservation for the EBCs was quashed by the Gujarat High Court in August 2016 .The court held that it was unconstitutional and contrary to fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
The matter was later placed before the Supreme Court, which granted a stay. The Rupani government is yet to explain the status of the stay
granted by the Supreme Court on this order which had envisaged similar 10 per cent reservation for EWS category.
Interestingly, the Congress opposition in Gujarat, too, has on three occasions, beginning February 2016, sought to bring a private members bill for 20 per cent reservation for the economically backward classes only to be fobbed off by the ruling BJP government on one pretext or the other. One such Bill is still pending in the State Assembly. In another move on December 8, 2018, the BJP government in Gujarat put out a list of 69 castes and sub-groups among, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jains, Parsis as well as Jews who would be defined as “unreserved classes”. Officially the list is designed to provide caste certificates to those from the unreserved castes, so that they can get benefits under the Gujarat Unreserved Educational and Economical Development Corporation Scheme of 2017. But this, in effect, meant that the government had created a new caste category called the ‘unreserved castes.”