Centre’s EWS move comes in way of quota for Muslims, STs

Centre’s EWS move comes in way of quota for Muslims, STs
Highlights

Even though the Telangana government welcomed the Centres 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections EWS, it has landed in catch22 situation in enforcing it in education and employment under the Central Act which has been brought into force recently

Hyderabad: Even though the Telangana government welcomed the Centre’s 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), it has landed in catch-22 situation in enforcing it in education and employment under the Central Act which has been brought into force recently.

The state government is of the strong view that the Centre’s economically weaker sections’ reservation will be a big stumbling block to the proposed enhancement of the reservation to STs and minorities by 10 per cent and 12 per cent respectively in Telangana. Officially, two state governments of BJP-led Gujarat and Congress ruling Chhattisgarh announced the adoption of the Central Act providing 10 per cent quota to poor among forward communities in their respective states.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is weighing options available to implement EBC reservation without affecting the prospects of the enhancement of quota to the two communities in the future. A senior-most official of the state government said that the government is holding series of meetings with legal and constitutional experts over the consequences of the implementation of the EBC quota and whether it would hamper the government’s commitment to the increase ST and minority quota. Currently, Muslims are availing 4 per cent reservation, STs (6 per cent), STs (15 per cent) and the rest of 25 per cent reservation has been provided to BCs (Backward Classes).

The TRS government has already adopted resolutions to increase quota to Muslims and STs to 12 per cent and 10 per cent from the present 4 per cent and 6 per cent respectively and forwarded the same to the Centre seeking its approval which has been pending for more than two years.

The authorities maintained that there was no provision to alter the Central Act and adopt the EBC reservations in accordance to the local conditions by the respective state governments. The states should have to seek the consent of the Union government to enhance the quota of STs and Muslims from the available 10 per cent EBC reservation. “It requires another constitutional amendment of the EBC reservation act to extend the EBC quota to the communities on cast or religion basis. Since, the BCs, SCs and STs are availing quota on caste basis, the extension of a part of EBC quota to STs is ruled out. As the Constitution prohibited religion-based reservation, Muslims cannot be provided special quota in the EBC reservation,” an official explained.

The quota has gone up to 60 per cent after the EWC reservation act. If STs quota is enhanced by 4 per cent and minorities by 8 per cent in Telangana the total percentage would go up to 72 per cent. The lone state in the country implementing the highest quota of 69 per cent (including 10 per cent EWC quota) is Tamil Nadu which sought special permission from the Supreme Court.

The State Law department and other legal luminaries were entrusted the responsibility to study the Central Act in detail. KCR is likely to take a decision on the implementation of the EBC quota in the state employment and education after the formation of his cabinet in full strength early February.

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