Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today supported reservation of 50 per cent seats in Parliament and state Legislatures for women saying if the Centre brings a legislation to this effect he would side with it. Kumar said this in reply to a plea made by women legislators at a JD(U) function on the occasion of International Women’s day here.
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Congratulating women on International Women’s day, Kumar highlighted initiatives taken by his government for their empowerment. He referred to earmarking 50 per cent seats in panchayats in 2005 and urban local bodies in 2007 by his government in proportion to their population which is half of the country.
“Bihar is the first state to give 50 per cent reservation to women in Panchyati Raj institutions which many states followed and now the Centre is also thinking over it,” he said.
The state government implemented 50 per cent reservation for women in appointment of contractual teachers at primary level. “One component of ‘seven resolves’ of good governance in Bihar is reservation of 35 per cent of seats for women in all state government jobs,” he said. “Within two months of formation of Grand Alliance government in 2015 November, the state government reserved 35 per cent seats for women in all state government vacancies,” the CM said.
Kumar also referred to boosting attendance of girls in schools for which the state government launched bicycle and free uniform schemes. “We have decided to teach every girl till 12th class for which plus two schools are opened in every panchayat,” he said.
The CM said with increase in literacy among females, the fertility rate has gone down in Bihar. If the girl is matriculate, the fertility rate has been found to be 2 and in case of 12th, it further goes down to 1.6, he said adding the fertility rate of the country stands at 1.7. Kumar reminded that he implemented prohibition on plea made by women at a function in the state capital and appealed to women to keep a strong vigil to ensure there was no lapse in execution of alcohol ban.
Social Welfare minister Manju Varma and a host of JD (U) women Legislators including Ranju Geeta, Poonam Devi Yadav, Guljar Devi, Bima Bharti and JD(U) state women wing chief Kanchan Kumari Gupta spoke at the function.