10% Quota For Economically Backward Upper Castes: How Many People Fulfill Eligibility Criteria?
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10% Quota For Economically Backward Upper Castes: How Many People Fulfill Eligibility Criteria?

The Modi government has tabled in Lok Sabha the bill seeking 10 per cent reservation for poor among the upper castes. The 10 per cent quota will be in addition to the existing 50 per cent reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs, taking the total quota to 60 per cent.

HIGHLIGHTS

The Modi government has tabled in Lok Sabha a bill seeking 10 per cent quota for economically backward upper castes

The 10 per cent reservation will be in addition to the existing 50 per cent reservation for the SCs, STs and the OBCs, taking the total quota to 60 per cent 

Any constitutional amendment will require the approval of two-third of Parliament, without altering the basic structure of the Constitution

The Narendra Modi government on Tuesday tabled in Lok Sabha a bill seeking 10 per cent reservation for economically backward upper castes that are currently not covered under reservation in government jobs.

Although the bill to amend Article 15 and 16 of the Constitution has been moved by the government, any constitutional amendment will require the approval of two-third of Parliament. Even though the House can pass any law, it cannot alter the basic structure of the Constitution.

The 10 per cent reservation will be in addition to the existing 50 per cent reservation for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, taking the total quota to 60 per cent.

While people earning less than Rs 8 lakh annually will be identified as economically backward, families that own agricultural land above five acres, a house above 1,000 sq ft, or 100 yard plot or above in a notified municipal area or a plot of 200 yards or above in a non-notified municipal area won’t be eligible to avail the benefit of this reservation.

Also Read | 10% Quota For Poor Among Upper Castes: Who All Are Eligible

It is, however, unlikely to get parliamentary approval immediately since any increase in the overall quota of 50 per cent — a limit set by the Supreme Court — will be subject to judicial scrutiny.

Let’s see who all are eligible, considering the two main eligibility criteria of income of less than Rs 8 lakh annually and those who have agricultural land less than five acres (two hectares).

Agricultural land below five acres

As per the agriculture census 2015-16, released in September 2018, 86 per cent people with landholdings qualify to avail the reservation benefit.

People who earn less than Rs 8 lakh annually (or Rs 66,666/month)

Almost almost all households qualify to avail the reservation benefit. According to the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) 2011-12 report, top five per cent of Indians in both urban and rural areas earn less than that.

The key indicators of household consumer expenditure — monthly per capita consumer expenditure based on modified mixed reference period method of measurement — show even if five persons in a household are earning, their monthly income is less than Rs 66,666.

Rural households

More than 99 per cent of all rural households qualify for reservation. According to NABARD All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17 report, released in 2018, rural households earn less than Rs 66,666. So, essentially all rural households qualify to avail the 10 per cent reservation benefits.

According to the socio economic caste census of 2011 as well, almost all rural households qualify for reservation. Only 8.25 per cent of rural households have monthly income of more than Rs 10,000.

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