In a strategic move to safeguard the increased reservation for deprived classes in Bihar, the Nitish Kumar cabinet has given its approval to a resolution requesting the centre to include the state legislation on quota hike in the ninth schedule of the Constitution.
The state cabinet also greenlit a proposal advocating special category status for Bihar, aiming to facilitate the implementation of five poverty alleviation schemes, valued at Rs 2.5 lakh crore.
The recent bill, passed by the assembly and subsequently notified by the state government, raises the quota in education and jobs for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, backward classes, and extremely backward classes to 65 per cent, surpassing the apex court cap of 50 per cent.
S Siddharth, the additional chief secretary in the cabinet secretariat, explained that the Bihar government's plea to the centre revolves around the notion that the increased quota should be incorporated into the ninth schedule of the Constitution, similar to the precedent set by Tamil Nadu.
This strategic move aims to prevent judicial intervention in the matter. The ninth schedule comprises a list of central and state laws immune to legal challenges.
As reported by The Times Of India, after the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took to social media platform X, stating, "For the first time, a caste-based headcount has been conducted in Bihar. On the basis of the data related to their social, economic, and educational conditions, the quota for scheduled castes (SCs) has been increased from 16 per cent to 20 per cent, for scheduled tribes (STs) from one to two, for economically backward classes (EBCs) from 18 to 25 per cent, and for BCs from 12 to 18 per cent."
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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