Bihar Governor approves Bill raising reservation from 50% to 65%

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had assured the House members that his government would implement the provisions of the Bill “as soon as possible”.

November 17, 2023 10:03 pm | Updated November 18, 2023 11:12 am IST - Patna

Bihar Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. File

Bihar Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Bihar Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar on November 17 approved the State Government’s ‘Bihar Reservation Amendment Bill’ which was passed unanimously by the State Legislature during the recently concluded winter session. It was approved by the State Cabinet on November 7 and raises the reservation quota for Backward, Extremely Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes from 50% to 65%. A gazette will be published soon.

Opinion |The Bihar caste survey and the social justice agenda 

On November 16, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said that the reservation bill will be approved as soon as the Governor returns. The Governor returned on November 17 and approved the bill . With 10% already reserved for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) the quota limit in Bihar has now been pushed to 75%., well past the 50% ceiling set by the Supreme Court.

Earlier in the Assembly after the bill was passed unanimously, Mr. Kumar assured the House members that his government would implement provisions of the Bill “as soon as possible”.

According to the bill, quota for Extremely Backward Class (EBC) will be raised from 18% to 25%; for Backward Class (BC) from 12% to 18%; for Scheduled Caste (SC) from 16% to 20%; and for Scheduled Tribe (ST), the quota will be doubled, from 1% to 2%. The 3% reservation for BC women has been scrapped.

Quota in education

Bills providing for the same increase in reservation in educational institutions and government jobs, which were drafted based on the caste survey conducted by the state government were also passed unanimously through voice vote in the state assembly.

Mr. Kumar proposed the amendment to raise reservations in the State Assembly on November 7, hours after it was tabled. It was approved the same day by the State Cabinet. The caste survey report released on October 2 said EBCs comprise 36% and BCs 27.1% of the State’s 13.1 crore population. Together the two caste groups account for nearly 63% of the population.

“If need be, there could be a raise in this reservation quota as well and I’ll be happy about it,” said Mr. Kumar adding, “My government will implement the increased quota as soon as possible”.

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