Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao is set to revive his idea of introducing quota for economically backward classes among the upper castes after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to 10 per cent quota for upper caste poor in Central government institutions for education and jobs.
In May last year, Mr Rao had floated the idea of providing 10 per cent quota in the state to upper caste poor, but it did not move forward because of a 50 per cent cap on reservations.
The Union ministry of law and justice on Saturday issued a notification saying the Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019, has received the President’s assent.
The Act amends Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution, by adding a clause which allows states to make “special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens”.
These “special provisions” would relate to “their admission to educational institutions, including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the state, other than the minority educational institutions”.
Mr Rao disclosed his idea of introducing EBC quota in the state during a Cabinet meeting in May.
Sources in the state government said the Chief Minister had at that time planned to exclude the creamy layer among Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities from existing quota to enable implementation of the EBC quota.
According to Mr Rao’s plan, well-off people in reserved quotas, like those earning over Rs 8 lakh a year, would be replaced by EBCs and this was to ensure that 50 per cent upper limit on quota prescribed by the Supreme Court is not violated. But, given the UPA government’s experience, he dropped the idea.
But, he dropped the idea in order to steer clear of any controversy arising from the removal of creamy layer given the experience of the UPA government’s move to carve out 4.5 per cent quota for Muslims within the 27 per cent quota for OBCs.
When the UPA had announced the 4.5 per cent quota in 2012, BC Welfare Association leader R. Krishnaiah had challenged the action.
The erstwhile Andhra Pradesh High Court on January 5, 2012, stayed the Centre’s order and though the UPA government had announced it would appeal against the stay in the Supreme Court, it did not proceed further. Authorities expect Mr Rao to take his idea forward. Sources said Mr Rao feels that poorer sections among upper castes were facing several hardships because of poverty.