Nitish Kumar proposes increasing reservation in Bihar to 65 per cent

| Updated: 07 November, 2023 10:09 pm IST

NEW DELHI: In a recent assembly debate, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed his intention to enhance the reservation quota in the state to 65 per cent. This proposal encompasses a broader spectrum of categories, including Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), and Extremely Backward Classes, specifically for government jobs and educational institutions.

READ MORE:Bihar’s caste-based economic report: Bhumihars emerge as neediest among Savarnas – THE NEW INDIAN

Notably, this proposed increase does not affect the existing 10 per cent reservation provided by the central government for those from economically weaker sections (EWS). Kumar emphasised his commitment to initiating the necessary changes during the current legislative session, stating, “We will do the needful after due consultations.”

Kumar rationalised his proposal by elaborating, “The 50 per cent (reservation) should be increased to at least 65 per cent… The upper caste has 10 per cent already (EWS). So, 65 and 10 make 75 per cent. The remaining would be 25 per cent. Earlier, 40 per cent was free; now it would be 25 per cent. The reservation for the backward class and extreme backward class, ST-SC should be increased to 65 per cent instead of 50 per cent.”

The proposal coincides with the release of a comprehensive report on caste demographics commissioned by the Bihar government. The report, presented in the assembly by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, revealed that approximately one-third of households in Bihar are grappling with poverty, with monthly incomes of Rs 6,000 or less.

It is worth noting that initial findings from the caste survey, which were made public on October 2, indicated that Bihar is home to 2.97 crore families, of which over 94 lakhs (constituting 34.13 per cent) fall below the poverty line. Additionally, the report highlighted that more than 50 lakh individuals from Bihar have sought employment and educational opportunities beyond the state’s borders.

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