To break the stalemate over the reservation ceiling for Socially and Educationally Backward (SEBC) candidates, the Naveen Patnaik government on Tuesday brought down the SEBC reservation limit from the proposed 27 per cent to 11.25 per cent in government jobs as an interim measure.
In February 2009, the Naveen Patnaik government had enacted the Odisha Reservation of Posts and Services for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act proving a reservation of 27 per cent of the posts in government jobs subject to exclusion of creamy layer.
In Orissa government jobs, SC candidates have 16.25 per cent reservation while STs have 22.5 per cent quota.
In 2011, during the recruitment of 800 assistant section officers the State home department decided to reserve 27 per cent of posts for SEBC candidates as per the new law.
An applicant had then challenged the Act before the Orissa Administrative Tribunal arguing that the advertisement was illegal as the reservation couldn’t exceed the ceiling of 50 per cent as laid down by the SC.
The 27 per cent quota for SEBC candidates would have taken the reservation ceiling to 65.25 per cent.
The OAT Bench in its December 2013 judgment quashed the Act and asked the Orissa government to modify the advertisement to the extent that reservation of posts would not exceed the ceiling.
The tribunal order had put the ASO recruitment in limbo as also many other recruitments being conducted by other government departments.
Unable to find a way out, the state government on Tuesday decided to limit the SEBC reservation percentage to 11.25 per cent till a final verdict is given by the Orissa High Court.
The home department resolution said the 11.25 per cent reservation would be an interim measure.
The High Court also directed the State to furnish quantifiable data in respect of SEBC in State services.