New Delhi: The Union Cabinet has approved a 10% reservation for economically backward upper castes in government jobs and educational institutes. The government is likely to introduce a constitutional amendment bill in Parliament on Tuesday.
This decision is being widely seen as a political masterstroke before the Lok Sabha elections this year. While BJP and many of its allies are hailing the decision, the opposition has been quick to slam the move.
But who would the reservation actually benefit and what are the many criteria which would need to be fulfilled to get reservation? Vijay Sampla, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, has said that one of the primary criteria that need to be fulfilled is an annual income of less than Rs 8 lakh. The Economically Backward Category has further been defined as:
* Agricultural land below 5 acres
* Residential property under 1000 sq. feet
* Residential plot below 100 yards in notified municipality
* Residential plot below 200 yards in non notified municipality area
The decision effectively means that those who are economically backward and fall under the general category will now be able to enjoy the benefits of reservation in government jobs, an advantage that wasn't available to them previously.
The Supreme Court has capped at 50% the quota for caste-based reservation for government jobs.