Karnataka Assembly passes Bill to raise SC, ST quotas; govt 'will … – The Indian Express

The Karnataka Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a Bill proposing to increase reservation for Scheduled Castes from 15 per cent to 17 per cent and for Scheduled Tribes from 3 per cent to 7 per cent in the state, exceeding the 50 per cent ceiling on quota by 6 per cent.
The ruling BJP asserted that it will approach the union government to include the proposed legislation in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution to ensure protection from legal scrutiny.
The Bill — Karnataka Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or posts in the services under the state) Bill, 2022 — will now be sent to the Legislative Council for approval.
Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy on Monday sought the support of the entire House to pass the Bill. Former chief minister and Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah expressed apprehension over the legality of the Bill’s provisions. “We welcome this Bill but the central government must include it in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution,” he said.
Congress MLA Krishna Byre Gowda said representatives of the union government had categorically denied any hike in the reservation percentage. “All we need is for the union government representative to make an affirmative statement to the Bill that has been passed,” he said.
Janata Dal (Secular) leaders also demanded reservation in private sector. JD(S) legislator K M Shivalinge Gowda said, “Why cannot reservation be implemented in private sector and outsourced jobs.” Joining him, Siddaramaiah said, “There are only 2 per cent jobs in government offices and they are also decreasing due to disinvestment and privatisation. It will really make a difference if reservation is implemented in the private sector.” Responding to his suggestion, Madhuswamy said he will bring it to the notice of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
The Bill, introduced in the Assembly by Bommai on December 20, has taken into consideration recommendations of committees set up to study the SC/ST population of Karnataka.
In March 2021, the BJP government under B S Yediyurappa had set up a committee headed by retired a High Court judge, Justice Subhash B Adi, to study the issue. The committee submitted its report on July 6 this year. The report cited a study by National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, which stated that 74 per cent of tribal communities had remained invisible and their literacy rate was lower than 3 per cent.
Prior to this, based on a Karnataka High Court order, a committee headed by former HC judge, Justice H N Nagamohan Das, was formed in 2019 to conduct a comprehensive study on the condition of SCs and STs in Karnataka. The committee submitted its report in July 2020, saying there was evidence of social and educational backwardness among the communities.
Based on the study, a special case was made out for increasing the reservations for SCs up to 17 per cent and STs up to 7 per cent.
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