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Bengal approves 10% EWS quota

The West Bengal government led by chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday approved 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the economically weaker sections (EWS) from general category.

india Updated: Jul 03, 2019 07:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata/Bhopal/Chennai
Mamata Banerjee,India news,economically weaker sections
West Bengal Chief Minister(PTI file photo)

The West Bengal government led by chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday approved 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for the economically weaker sections (EWS) from general category.

West Bengal was among the few states that had not implemented the 10% EWS quota introduced by the Centre though a Constitutional amendment earlier this year.

While the Trinamool Congress government’s move was welcomed by all three opposition parties in the state – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress, they also expressed concerns over the process of identifying the potential beneficiaries.

Currently, West Bengal has 22% reservation for those belonging to the scheduled castes, 6% for scheduled tribes and 17% for other backward classes (OBC), taking the total quota to 45%

“It’s a historic decision. There are many factors to define someone who belongs to the economically weaker section. These details will be mentioned in the government order that will be issued soon,” said Partha Chatterjee, parliamentary affairs and education minister.

Backward classes welfare minister Rajib Banerjee explained that the reservation is for the people from the general classes. “Reservation for the SCs, STs and OBCs remain as they were. This new quota is for those outside the three specified categories,” Banerjee said.

BJP leader Manoj Tigga, said, “While it is good to see that the state is following the Centre’s footsteps, we have concerns whether corruption will mar the process of identifying the beneficiaries.” Abdul Mannan, the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, welcomed the move, so did Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s Sujan Chakraborty, the Left leader in the state legislature.

“Years of struggle finally yielded results. We are happy, but have raised concerns over the process of identification. We want a foolproof system to ensure that only deserving ones are identified as beneficiaries,” Mannan said.

Meanwhile, the Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday issued an order to provide 10% quota to EWS category in the general category in education and jobs in the state.

“The quota will be applicable in all the direct recruitment test of the government department. The 10% seats will be reserved for EWS in all the education institutes from now onwards,” said PC Meena, additional chief secretary, General Administration Department.

First Published: Jul 02, 2019 23:30 IST