The lower house, Lok Sabha has passed the Reservation Bill which will provide 10% quota to the economically weaker sections irrespective of their religion or caste. The bill was passed with 323 ‘ayes’ and only 3 ‘nos’.
With this bill the government hopes to reserve 10% government jobs and seats in educational institutes for the poorer section of the society, irrespective of their religion or caste. This favours the upper caste who traditionally have not been entitled to any quota.
Many opposition parties including the Congress declared their support for the bill, but raised concerns during the debate in Parliament.
Families with an annual income below INR₹ 8 lakh, those who do not own more than five acres of agricultural land, who do not own a flat more than 1000 sqft area in notified municipality areas, are eligible for the new quota.
The Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry is working to implement the new legislation, and deciding on the number of seats that need to be increased in the educational institutions.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati welcomed the decision but called it a “election stunt and political gimmick”.
(The Pigeon Express Opinion: This is a welcome move including for me, but we are still far-far away from recognising merit. I would still want to see a quota free India.)