The lower house of the Indian parliament has approved a constitutional amendment bill that provides for 10% reservation for economically weaker sections of general category candidates in government employment and education.
Introduced by Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot in the Lok Sabha, the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed 323 voting for it, and four against.
While the Supreme Court, in Indra Sawhney case, had limited the extent of reservations at 50%, the new quota will be over and above that.
If the court doesn’t allow lifting the 50% cap, the quota will eat into the quota pie for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes.
Those who are currently not covered in existing quotas and have a family income below ₹8 lakh a year or agricultural land below 5 acres are eligible for the quota.
It excludes those who have a house above 1,000 square feet or a 100-yard plot or above in a notified municipal area or a 200-yard plot or above in a non-notified municipal area.
At least half the State Assemblies has to ratify the amendment after it is passed by both the houses of the parliament with a special majority, for it to come to effect.