A bill seeking to provide reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in apprenticeship training was adopted by Parliament on Friday, with the Lok Sabha approving it amid pandemonium over the nuclear deal.
The Apprentices (Amendment) Bill, 2006 was passed by the Rajya Sabha last week.
The bill was necessitated as the original Act of 1961 provided reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes only and there was no provision for OBCs.
The bill seeks to provide flexibility up to 50 per cent in engagement of apprentices in a trade provided that overall quota fixed for the establishment remains the same.
The bill was moved by Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes amid an uproar created by opposition NDA over the Indo-US nuclear deal. The NDA was demanding Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the nuclear agreement.
Amid the din, the House passed the bill with voice vote.
The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill says the employer shall bear the cost of imparting instruction instead of the government.
The government has said the purpose of amending the Apprentices Act was to make it more responsive and relevant to growing needs of the industry and also to meet the requirement of skilled and semi-skilled workers.