10% quota in Gu­jarat from to­day

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

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