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Slice of quota pie for Muslims

Since the Mandal Commission lists about 34.5 per cent Muslim castes as OBCs, these castes will automatically get reservation in educational institutions.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 02:16 IST

Stopped in its tracks by the EC, the HRD ministry now wants to introduce the OBC quota Bill in the Parliament session in May. A source said the "process of seeking Cabinet approval will start after the elections are over."

The bill is, however, set to stoke further controversy for seeking to give reservations to Muslims in education institutions, for the first time, while exempting minority institutions from similar reservations.

Since the Mandal Commission lists about 34.5 per cent Muslim castes as OBCs, these castes will automatically get reservation in educational institutions.

While this answers a long-standing demand of Muslims for reservations in educational institutions, the quota bill exempts minority institutions like the Aligarh Muslim University and Hamdard University from reservations to the educationally and socially backward classes or even to the SC/STs.

The bill allows only one reservation for such institutions — i.e. for the community for whom minority status is being sought. Further, even existing institutes can switch to the minority category, provided they meet the stringent criteria for this purpose.