Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. File Pic
The Nitish Kumar government on Tuesday issued gazette notifications for raising the quota for deprived castes from 50 to 65 per cent in state government jobs and educational institutions, after receiving assent from Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, reported news agency PTI.
According to sources the Governor had sent both the bills "The Bihar Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services Amendment Bill and the Bihar Reservation (Admission In Educational Institutions) Amendment Bill, 2023" to the state government after giving his formal assent, paving the way for implementation of the new quota percentage in state government jobs and educational institutions, reported PTI.
The Bihar Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services Amendment Bill and the Bihar Reservation (Admission In Educational Institutions) Amendment Bill, 2023 were recently cleared by the state legislature during the winter session days after the government tabled the detailed analysis of the state's landmark caste survey report in the assembly, reported PTI.
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Both the bills sought a hike in the quota for Scheduled Castes (SC) from 16 to 20 per cent, Scheduled Tribes (STs) from 1 to 2 per cent, extremely backward castes (EBCs) from 18 to 25 per cent and other backward classes (OBCs) from 15 to 18 per cent to elevate the total quantum of caste-based reservations from 50 to 65 per cent, reported PTI.
The total quantum of reservation in jobs and educational institutions will now stand at 75 per cent in the state, after taking into account the 10 per cent already existing quota for economically weaker sections (EWS), reported PTI.
Arlekar's assent came just days after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed hope that the Raj Bhavan would return both bills after the formal assent of the Governor, reported PTI.
Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on November 16 announced that he will launch a state-wide movement if the Centre does not grant special category status to the state "at the earliest", reported PTI.
The JD(U) leader, who has been demanding special status for many years, said the state needs this in order to move forward, reported PTI.
"If the Centre does not grant special status to Bihar at the earliest, we will launch a state-wide movement. The demand for a special status will be heard in every nook and corner of the state during the movement," he said while speaking at a function, reported PTI.
Those who do not support the demand are not interested in the development of the state, Kumar said.
He said the Bihar legislature recently cleared bills to hike the quota for deprived castes from 50 per cent to 65 per cent in government jobs and educational institutions, taking the overall reservation to 75 per cent, on the basis of the caste survey, conducted by the state government, reported PTI.
"We have planned a number of welfare initiatives for the economically weaker sections of the society and it would cost a poor state like Bihar several crores of rupees. We will have to spend it in over five years. If the demand for special status to Bihar is fulfilled, we will be able to provide all benefits to the people concerned within two and a half years. Therefore, Bihar needs the status immediately," the chief minister said, reported PTI.
He said two bills related to reservation of vacancies which were passed unanimously in the state assembly and council during the recently concluded winter session were sent to Governor Rajendra Arlekar for his assent, reported PTI.
"I am hopeful that the governor will soon sign both bills. Immediately after that, we will implement it for the upliftment of socially, educationally and economically backward sections of the society," Kumar said, reported PTI.
Both bills raised the quota for Scheduled Castes from 16 to 20 per cent, scheduled tribes from 1 to 2 per cent, extremely backward castes (EBCs) from 18 to 25 per cent and other backward classes (OBCs) from 15 to 18 per cent, reported PTI.
(With inputs from PTI)