The Ministry of Human Resource Development is working out modalities to implement 10 per cent reservation for the “economically weaker” sections in higher educational institutions, sources have said. The Union Cabinet Monday cleared the 10 per cent quota in government jobs and education for the “economically weaker” sections, meeting a key demand of upper castes, a staunch BJP support base which has shown signs of a drift from the party.
According to the sources, the ministry is working out the number of seats that need to be increased in the educational institutions to be able to implement this quota. “The modalities are yet to be worked out about how the quota will be implemented. All the universities and educational institutions recognised by the University Grants Commission whether government run or private will have to implement the quota,” a source said.
“While the initial estimates reflect that around 10 lakh seats will have to be added in institutions across the country, including central universities IITs and IIMs, among other prestigious higher educational institutions,” the source added. As per the All-India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), 2017-18, the country has a total of 903 universities, over 39,000 colleges and over 10,000 stand-alone institutions.
The proposed reservation will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation enjoyed by the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and the other backward classes, and will take the total reservation to 60 per cent. The bill is likely to introduce criteria like an annual income below Rs 8 lakh and not owning more than five acres of agricultural land for those seeking quota benefits.