In what again shows the commitment and dedication of the Modi government to grant 10% quota to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) belonging to general category, the 10% quota for EWS will be effective for all direct recruitment vacancies in central government posts and services notified after February 1, 2019. According to Live Law, this has been notified by the Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions as per Office Memorandum (OM) issued on January 19.
So far, the four BJP ruling states – Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh – have already implemented the 10 reservation quota for EWS. The President of India gave his assent to the new quota bill on 13 January, prior to that the Parliament has also cleared the 10% EWS quota bill.
The move can be termed as a masterstroke of the Modi government, considering the fact that the opposition parties are finding it difficult to counter this move. So far only one mainstream and a big party which is a Congress ally, DMK, is openly opposing the bill. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) filed a writ petition in Madras High Court against the amendment to deprive the upper caste people of availing this benefit.
DMK’s M K Stalin approaches Madras High court against 10% quota for EBC pic.twitter.com/H2UhiWa8l6
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The DMK’s organising secretary RS Bharathi filed the writ petition. The petition stated, “The concept of reservation, being an exception to the equality clause, is only justified when it is used for the purpose of upliftment of communities which have suffered discrimination and oppression like the OBC, SCs and STs. Economic criteria alone cannot be the basis of reservation since reservation is not a poverty alleviation scheme.” It further says, “Naturally [owing to caste-based discrimination] over the centuries, people belonging to these ‘lower castes’ were segregated from the academic circles, were not permitted to be employed where ‘higher’ castes worked and as a result, their entire families rotted in poverty and exclusion, while the ‘upper’ castes educated and enriched themselves.”
Earlier, the DMK voted against the bill in Parliament, its party leader Kanimozhi demanded to send the bill to a select committee for further scrutiny. The DMK chief MK Stalin even before the beginning of the debate registered his party’s protest against the new quota bill because he strongly believes that reservation should be based on social backwardness and not on the basis of the financial condition. MK Stalin said, “The Central cabinet has given the approval to offer 10 percent reservation for poor among upper castes. This is against social justice and it can destroy social justice. It has been clearly stated in the 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution that reservation should be given only for socially and educationally backward people.”
While the Congress has extended its support to the Bill in the parliament, it has not made the stance clear on its ally standing against the quota. Is it a proxy move by the Congress to block the EWS quota law or just a delaying tactic so that the Quota would not be implemented before the 2019 general elections? Not to forget that opposition parties including the Congress created a ruckus in the Upper House of the parliament on the day quota bill was introduced in the house.
For more details: Opposition creates ruckus in Rajya Sabha, halts the passage of 10% quota Bill
On the one hand, a Congress ally is trying its level best to deprive economically sections belonging to the general category from availing 10% quota benefit, on the other hand, BJP ruling states are implementing new quota bill. Gujarat became the first state to implement 10% reservation in state government jobs and education for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in the general category. The state government in a release said, “The economically weaker sections from the general category will get 10 percent reservation in admissions to higher education and government jobs starting Uttarayan on January 14.”
In a tweet, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani had said, “Happy to state that the Government of Gujarat has decided to implement 10% EWS reservation benefits from 14th January 2019. It will be implemented in all ongoing recruitment process too wherein there is only advertisement published but first stage of examination is yet to held.”