The Centre had come out with a constitutional amendment bill to extend quota benefits to economically weaker sections in January.
The central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday cleared a bill that would pave the way for providing 10% reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in educational institues and government jobs to people of Jammu and Kashmir. The Union cabinet approved the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2019 that would pave the way for EWS quota along with existing reservations.
In January this year, the government had come out with a constitutional amendment bill to extend quota benefits to economically weaker sections. The Supreme Court had upheld the Centre’s decision to give 10 per cent reservation to the poor in educational institutes and public employment. The quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. The apex court had observed that the move was an exception to equality as it intended to achieve ‘equality of opportunity’.
#Cabinet approves the Jammu & Kashmir Reservation
(Second Amendment) Bill, 2019; it would pave the way of extending the benefit of reservation of up to 10% for “Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)” in educational institutions and public employment alongside existing reservations
— Sitanshu Kar (@DG_PIB) July 31, 2019
The government’s decision has come amid speculations over abrogation of Article 35A which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir as the Centre deployed additional 10,000 troops on the Valley earlier this week.
Former CMs Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah have questioned the move of shifting more troops to the Valley. The BJP, on the other hand, accused both the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party of trying to create panic among people by spreading rumuors.
Meanwhile, 13 of Bharatiya Janata Party’s core group leaders from Jammu and Kashmir are in New Delhi for a meeting with the party leadership. BJP J&K president Ravinder Raina said the meeting is being held to prepare the strategy for the impending Assembly elections in the state.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under President’s Rule since December, 2018.