The Rajasthan Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to raise the reservation for Other Backward Classes from 21% to 26%, ANI reported. With this, the total quota in the state for government jobs and seats in educational institutes increases to 54%, higher than the 50% ceiling set by the Supreme Court.
The Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointment and Posts in Services under the State) Bill, 2017, provides 5% reservation to Gujjars and four other communities.
The bill was passed during the Monsoon Session in the Assembly, which commenced on Monday, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.
The five castes – Gujjar/Gurjar, Banjara/Baldia/Labana, Gadia-Lohar/Gadalia, Raika/Rebari and Gadaria – were included in the Other Backward Classes list in 1994.
However, in December 2016, the Rajasthan High Court had struck down the state’s proposal to include these five under the Special Backward Class Reservation Act, 2015. The bench had then observed that reservation should not be provided to “achieve political goals”, The Indian Express reported. It had also pointed out that the state had not justified why it had sought to exceed the 50% cap.
In May, the Vasundhara Raje-led government had issued a notification to, once again, include the five castes in the Other Backward Classes list.