NEW DELHI (Xinhua) –President of India Ram Nath Kovind has signed the legislation passed by the parliament guaranteeing 10 percent reservation in government jobs and higher educational institutions for the poor belonging to the upper castes in the country’s society, thereby making it a law.
The legislation was passed by both the houses of Indian parliament – Lok Sabha (lower house) and Rajya Sabha (upper house), earlier in the week.
The new law assumes significance even as it has been enacted just ahead of the ensuing parliamentary polls, slated to take place in April-May this year.
Till now only those belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) were provided reservation in government jobs and institutions for higher education. These castes were guaranteed 50 percent reservation in government jobs and higher education institutions.
As per the new law, 10 percent of the government jobs would be reserved for those belonging to the upper castes but economically poor. Those earning less than US$11,430 in a year, or possessing agricultural land less than five acres, are a couple of criteria set for adjudging the economic status of those entitled for such reservation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that the bill to give 10 percent reservation in jobs and education to the general category poor will boost the “self-confidence of new India”, asserting that existing reservation policy for SCs, STs and OBCs was as strong as it was and will remain so.