The Rajasthan government on Thursday has increased Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota from 21 percent to 26 percent by passing the bill.
The Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services under the State) Bill will provide reservation to the five “most backward” OBC communities, including Gujjars and four other communities- Banjara,Baldiya, Labana; Gadiya Lohar, Gadoliya; Raika, Rebari, Debasi and Gadariya, Gadri, Gayari, which were earlier grouped as the special backward classes (SBC).
The government had tabled the Bill in assembly’s monsoon session this year to provide reservation in educational institutions and state jobs for the category of more backward classes within the backward classes.
The government tabled the Bill in the wake of widespread agitation by the Gujjar community demanding reservation under the backward classes category.
However, with this quota of five percent to OBCs, the total percentage of various quotas has crossed 50 percent. Now, the total quota in Rajasthan stands at 54 percent- 26 percent for OBCs, 16 percent for SCs, and 12 percent for STs. This is in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines, which say the total quota in government jobs and educational institutes for different reserved categories in the state cannot go beyond 50 percent.
Last year, the Rajasthan High Court had struck down government’s attempt to grant 5 percent quota to Gujjars as it would have shot the overall reservation to 54 percent.