Patna: The Bihar Assembly Thursday November 09, 2023 unanimously passed Bihar Reservation Amendment Bill which proposes to increase caste based census from existing 50 per cent to 65 per cent now.
This is 15 per cent more than the maximum reservation limit fixed by the Supreme Court of India.
The 65 per cent quota if combined with the 10 EWS quota for economically weaker sections will take the total quota in Bihar to 75 per cent. This will left little space for open and general category.
The current 50 per cent quota in government jobs and educational institutions if bifurcated is 18 per cent for Extremely Backward Classes (EBC), 12 per cent for Other Backward Classes (OBC), 16 per cent for Scheduled Castes (SC), 1 per cent for Scheduled Tribes (ST) and 3 percent for women from backward classes.
In the Reservation Amendment Bill, however, it has been proposed to increase the quota for Scheduled Castes (SC) from the existing 16 to 20 per cent, for Scheduled Tribes (ST) from 1 to 2 percent whereas for Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Extremely Backward Classes (EBC) the quota has been increased from the existing 30 per cent to 43 per cent.
The Bihar government has increased the caste-quota based on the result of the Caste Census released in October 2023.
As per the Bihar Caste Census, backward classes in the state account for 63.1 per cent which is about two-thirds of the total population.
The parties which are ruling Bihar forming an alliance had asked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to increase the reservation based on the population of different castes as found in the caste survey.
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on the other hand had called the caste survey a move to divide people. The party however has not directly opposed the decision to increase the caste based quota.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar meanwhile said he would like to implement the Bill immediately.
“The change in the current reservation quota was decided taking everyone’s opinion in mind. 50 per cent reservation was there from the beginning", he said.
"Centre fixed EWS quota and we also implemented it. We would like to implement the amendment immediately,” he added.
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