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The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the landmark bill to provide 10 percent reservation in jobs and education for the economically-backward section in the General category. It is now just one legislative step away from becoming law.
Let us have look at the Key Points:
1. While the fine print of the bill is yet to be divulged, the move is expected to benefit the poorer segments of upper caste Hindus as well as other religions. In fact, this is the first time that the country has considered non-caste, non-religion based reservation.
2. The reservation will be above the existing 50% and the government will amend Articles 15 and 16, which deal with discrimination and equal opportunity, of the Constitution to implement it.
3. Those earning less than Rs 8 lakh per annum and own less than 5 acres of land would be eligible for the proposed quota.
4. The person's residential house should be below 1000 sq ft, and the residential plot should be below 100 yards in a notified municipality area and below 200 yards in a non-notified municipality area.
5. People owning a residential plot of more than 200 yards in non-notified areas will also not be eligible.
6. The OBCs reportedly constitute around 45% of the population while SCs and STs account for another 23%. This means that only 27-37% of Indian citizens are currently excluded from the reservation net.
7. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that 10 percent reservation to the poor in the general category will be applicable to jobs in both central and state governments.
8. Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot assured the Rajya Sabha during the debate that the reservation to SC, ST and OBCs will not be touched by the amendment.