The Rajasthan government on Wednesday approved the OBC commission’s report seeking 5 per cent reservation for special backward classes in government jobs and educational institutions.
In a meeting of the Cabinet convened late on Wednesday evening, the government approved the report in totality and the 5 per cent reservation was approved over and above the existing 49 per cent quota that is already implemented in the state, taking the total reservation to 54 per cent. A government statement said that Gadariya and Gurjjar communities will be included in the SBC category along with three others and this category will be given an additional quota of 5 per cent.
So far, the state had 21 per cent reservation for OBCs and another 28 per cent for SC/STs. Following the official notification on Wednesday, all educational institutions and state government services will be directed to reserve an additional 5 per cent quota for the notified SBCs.
The report drafted on the basis of a quantifiable survey had examined whether Gujjars and four other communities should be treated as SBCs. The Rajasthan High Court had sought a report from the government in this regard in 2010.
Gurjjars had demanded reservation under SBCs and staged protests paralysing the state in the past few years. However, their leader Kirori Singh Bainsla had maintained that the only feasible option for the government was to carve out a separate quota for the SBC within the existing 21 per cent reservation for OBCs. Bainsla had said the community apprehended that increasing the quote above 50 per cent would lead to litigation and delay their hopes of resolving the quota issue.
The Jat community that comes under the OBC quota had protested against the inclusion of SBCs within the existing OBC reservation, apprehending that they would be sidelined. The inclusion of 5 per cent for SBC quota within the 21 per cent OBC reservation would have reduced the Jat quota to 16 per cent.
The dominant Jat community has a strong influence in the state and the Congress government does not want to offend them especially ahead of the Assembly election scheduled to be held next year.