Reservation Finally for Needy: Reservation Bill 2019


Reservation Finally for Needy: Reservation Bill 2019

The  debate and discussions around the topic of reservation in India are not new to anyone. On 8th January 2018 after almost an intense session of dilation and deliberation, Lok sabha passed, The Constitution (One hundred and twenty-fourth amendments) Bill, 2019 to provide reservation in public employment and higher education for economically weaker sections.


This is not any usual reservation but apparently, with the new bill, there will be 10 percent reservation in government jobs and seats in educational institutes for the poorer section of the society, irrespective of their religion or caste, thus providing for the upper caste that has traditionally been not entitled to any quota. This 10 percent reservation is in addition to the already existing reservations in both the fields.


During the debate, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was seen making a strong pitch in favour of the bill. While opposition parties raised questions over the timing, they unequivocally supported the bill. The bill was passed with 323 'ayes’ (that means yes) and only 3 'nos'.


In Article 16 of the Constitution, a new clause shall be inserted, namely:- (6)Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any economically weaker sections of citizens other than the classes mentioned in clause (4), in addition to the existing reservation and subject to a maximum of 10% of the posts in each category.


The bill states that the economically weaker sections of citizens have largely remained excluded from attending higher educational institutions and public employment on account of their financial incapacity and no help whatsoever by the government at large. It says that economically weaker sections were not eligible for the benefit of reservation. A view to ensuring that economically weaker sections of citizens get a fair chance of receiving higher education and participation in employment in the services of the State, the bill has been proposed.


The bill seeks a reservation for economically weak upper classes who currently have not been covered under any reservation policies. Families with an annual income below Rs 8 lakh, those who do not own more than five acres of agricultural land, who do not own a flat more than 1000 sqft area in notified municipality areas, are eligible for the new quota.


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