National Affairs

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Proposes 65% Caste Quota, Up From 50% Cap

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has proposed increasing reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, as well Other Backward Classes and Extremely Backward Classes, to 65 per cent.

This is excluding the centre’s 10 per cent reservation for individuals from Economically Weaker Sections, and will take total reservation to 75 per cent.

The proposals will take state quotas past the 50 per cent cap set by the Supreme Court in 1992.

“We will do the needful after due consultation. It is our intent to effect these changes in the current session,” the Chief Minister said, adding that the three per cent quota for OBC women be scrapped.

Under the proposed revised quotas, Scheduled Caste candidates will have 20 per cent reservation, while those from OBCs and EBCs will get 43 per cent quota – a significant increase from the earlier 30 per cent. Reservation of two per cent has been proposed for ST candidates.

The current reservation levels are 18 per cent for EBCs and 12 per cent for Backward Classes, 16 per cent for Scheduled Castes, and one per cent for Scheduled Tribes.

The proposal comes hours after a full report on the contentious state-wide caste survey was tabled before the Bihar Assembly, amid claims by the opposition BJP that the ruling Janata Dal(United)-Rashtriya Janata Dal duo had inflated data relating to the Yadav community and Muslims.

Nitish Kumar – whose deputy, the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, hails from the former group – slammed the BJP for the allegations. Earlier, Mr Yadav had demanded critics of the caste survey provide proof.

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