Centre plans 10% quota for the poor
- The Union Cabinet approved a Constitution Amendment Bill to provide 10% reservation to the economically backward sections in the general category.
Those under reservation
- The Bill will also cover those from the Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and other minority communities.
- The quota will be over and above the existing 50% reservation to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes (OBC).
- The reservation is for those castes that now do not avail themselves of quota in any category.
- Those who have an annual salary of less than Rs. 8 lakh per year and possess less than 5 acres of land will be able to avail themselves of reservation in educational institutions and jobs.
Introduction of the Bill
- The government is likely to introduce the Bill in the Lok Sabha on 8th January 2019, the last working day of the winter session. The sitting of the Rajya Sabha has been extended till January 9.
- Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution will have to be amended for the implementation of the decision, the Minister said.
The Indira Sawhney case
- A nine-judge Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court had, in the Indira Sawhney case, capped reservation at 50%.
- The court had ruled on November 16, 1992, that “clause (4) of Article 16 of the Constitution speaks of adequate representation and not proportionate representation” and “relaxation can be done in extraordinary situations and while doing so, extreme caution has to be exercised and a special case made out.”
- According to the 2011 Census, the population of the country was 1.21 billion. The population of the Scheduled Castes was 201.4 million and that of the Scheduled Tribes stood at 104.3 million.
Point to remember