Andhra Pradesh government on Monday promulgated an Ordinance providing 4 per cent reservations to Muslims in education and jobs.
The Ordinance promulgated by Governor Rameshwar Thakur, has created a new category called "E" in the list of Backlward Classes for the purpose of reservations and included "15 socially and educationally backward groups among Muslims" in the new category.
The Ordinance also introduced the 'creamy layer'concept for exclusion of ‘socially advanced persons/sections’ but did not specify the upper income limit to be eligible to enjoy the benefits of reservations.
Apart from providing reservations for admission into professional educational institutions under Articles 15 (4) and 16 (4) of the Constitution of India, the Ordinance extended reservations for Muslims in appointment to posts in the government service by invoking the Public Services Act, 1994.
Muslims constitute about 9.2 per cent of the state’s total population of 76 million as per 2001 census.
Though the move is opposed by some sections among Muslimsthe Minister for Minorities Welfare Mohammed Ali Shabbir has defended the government action arguing that the reservation would cover 90 per cent of the Muslim population in the state.
The state government has directed the Higher Education, Technical Education and Medical Education departments to take necessary steps for provision of reservations to 15 groups of Muslims in professional courses such as BE, MBA, MCA, MBBS, BDS etc.