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NEW DELHI: The Rajasthan Assembly on Thursday passed a bill which increases reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the state from 21 per cent to 26 per cent.
The BJP government’s decision grants five per cent reservation to the five “most backward” OBC communities, which includes Gujjars and four other communities that were earlier grouped as the special backward classes (SBC).
The bill proposing 5 per cent hike in the OBC quota in government jobs was tabled during the assembly’s monsoon session this year in the wake of widespread agitation by the Gujjar community demanding reservation under the backward classes category.
Last year, the Rajasthan high court had struck down the state government’s attempt to grant 5 per cent quota to Gujjars as it would have shot the overall reservation to 54 per cent. As per Supreme Court guidelines, the total quota in government jobs and educational institutes for different reserved categories in the state cannot go beyond 50 per cent.
The OBC quota is being increased in proportion to the increase in state’s OBC population, which is legally permissible, government sources had told TOI.
Under the new arrangement, there will be no SBC category as it does not have constitutional approval. Instead, there will be OBC and ‘Most OBC’ categories.