Bihar: CM Nitish Kumar seeks to increase OBC reservation to 65%

Nitish Kumar said reservations for OBCs needed to be raised from 50 to 65 per cent, while for the SCs and STs, which together account for a 17 per cent quota, it should be raised to 22 per cent

photo: @NitishKumar/Twitter
photo: @NitishKumar/Twitter

NH Political Bureau

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced his intention to increase reservations in the state to benefit various social categories, including Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), and Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs) in government jobs and educational institution admissions.

He emphasized the need to raise reservations for OBCs from the existing 50% to 65%, while for the combined quota of SCs and STs, currently at 17%, he proposed an increase to 22%.

"We will do the needful after due consultations. It is our intent to effect these changes in the current session," stated Nitish Kumar.

Notably, this proposal does not affect the 10% reservation provided by the central government for economically weaker sections (EWS).

Nitish Kumar made this statement during a legislative debate following the presentation of a comprehensive report on caste demographics commissioned by his government.

The rationale behind this proposal is to ensure that the total reservation, when combined with the 10% reservation for economically weaker sections, reaches 75%. With this, the remaining 25% of seats would be unreserved, thereby increasing the overall reservation quota.

In essence, the Chief Minister aims to provide greater representation and opportunities to disadvantaged social groups in Bihar.

The report accompanying the announcement made by Nitish Kumar, also unveiled a troubling statistic: one in three families in Bihar is living in poverty, with a monthly income of Rs 6,000 or less.

These findings underscore the pressing socio-economic challenges faced by a significant portion of the state's population, which may have influenced the government's decision to consider changes in reservation percentages.

Additionally, the report highlights that Bihar is home to 2.97 crore families, with over 94 lakhs (34.13%) living in poverty. It also revealed that more than 50 lakh Biharis have sought livelihood and educational opportunities outside the state.

Furthermore, 46 lakhs earn their living in other states, 2.17 lakhs have migrated abroad, 5.52 lakhs are pursuing studies in other states, and 27,000 are studying abroad. These findings paint a complex picture of socio-economic challenges and opportunities in the state.

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