Uttarakhand gives nod to implementing 10% quota for economically weaker sections

Uttarakhand could soon become the second state in the country, after Gujarat, to implement 10% reservationfor economically weaker sections in the general category, days after the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and received the President’s assent within three days.

“I have directed the official concerned to take a legal opinion on the issue… (but) you can write that we have enforced the constitutional provision granting 10% reservation in government jobs for the poor in general category,” chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said.

Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of an official function in Dehradun, Rawat praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing the legislation that seeks to provide the economically backward in the general category 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.

“I appreciate the step taken by the Prime Minister,” he said, calling it “a praiseworthy decision”. “In fact, I see Narendrabhai as the (Bhimrao) Ambedkar of the 21st century owing to the decision taken by him,” he said, referring to the Dalit icon.

The opposition was guarded in its response even as it supported the Rawat government’s decision to implement the reservation.

“We welcome the step,” Congress state president Pritam Singh said. “We welcome it because we had supported the constitutional amendment bill in Parliament,” he said.

Singh, however, added that granting the reservations in government jobs and educational institutions was “not enough”.

“Merely granting reservation is not enough unless the government creates vacancies for economically backwards,” he said.

The Congress leader also demanded that the BJP government fill the vacant positions reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs) categories.

“Let it (government) clear the backlogs and also create government jobs for the poor so they could benefit from the 10% quota given to them,” Singh said. “Merely granting them reservation has no meaning unless the government creates jobs for them as well,” Singh added.

“There is no point in granting the economically backwards 10% quota unless vacancies are created to accommodate them,” said Thakur Prahalad Singh, president of Rajya Karmachari Samyukta Parishad, an association of government employees.

He said there were some 1.50 lakh posts lying vacant in various government departments.

“These posts are lying vacant for several years despite so much unrest among the unemployed youth across the state,” he said.

He clarified that those vacancies were vacant for both SC/ ST and general category candidates. “Out of 1.50 lakh vacancies some 1.30 lakh posts are vacant for the general category candidates,” Singh said adding that upper castes were in a majority in the state. “The SCs/ STs and Other Backward Castes form only 30% to 35% of the total population in the state”, he said.

First Published: Jan 16, 2019 16:07 IST

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