As per official sources, the bills provide 32 per cent reservation to Scheduled Tribes (ST), 27 per cent to Other Backward Classes (OBC) and 13 per cent to Scheduled Caste (SC), as announced in 2019 by the state government.
The quantum of quota proposed for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) provisioned in the bills was not disclosed by officials, though some local media outlets said it could be 4 per cent.
Briefing about the cabinet’s decisions, state Parliamentary Affairs minister Ravindra Choubey said, “The drafts of Chhattisgarh Public Service (Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes Reservation) Amendment Act and the amendment bill related to admission in educational institutions were approved.”
CM Baghel had said reservation benefits in proportion to the population was the right of people and the bills are being brought on this basis, Choubey said.
“The state government is serious over the situation arising following the Chhattisgarh High Court’s decision in September. We have discussed the Chhattisgarh Quantifiable Data Commission’s report that was recently submitted. Reservation will be based on population data (of OBC and EWS) provided by the commission,” the minister informed.
The Supreme Court has said EWS reservation can be up to 10 per cent, which will also be followed, Choubey said.
The minister, who refused to give details of community-wise quota percentages, said the two amendment bills related to reservation in government jobs and admissions in education institutions will be tabled during the special session of the Assembly next month.
In August 2019, the state cabinet had approved an ordinance to bring an amendment to Chhattisgarh Lok Seva (Anusuchit Jatiyon, Anusuchit Jan Jatiyon Aur Anya Pichhade Vargon Ke Liye Arakshan) Adhiniyam, 1994.
The cabinet had approved to hike OBC reservation to 27 per cent from the existing 14 per cent, that of Scheduled Castes to 13 per cent from the current 12 per cent, besides 10 EWS quota.
With the 32 per cent ST quota remaining untouched, the reservation percentage was set to reach 82 per cent due to this decision.
However, in October 2019, the Chhattisgarh High Court stayed this decision citing unavailability of quantifiable population data. The state government later constituted the CGQDC, which submitted its report on November 21.
The issue of quota had flared up in the state after the Chhattisgarh HC set aside a 2012 order to raise quota in education and jobs in the state to 58 per cent. The HC had said breaching of the 50 per cent quota limit was unconstitutional.
The HC order had brought down quota for STs from 32 per cent to 20 per cent., triggering protests from various segments.
Early this month, Chhattisgarh Governor Anusuiya Uikey had written to Baghel asking him to take immediate steps to restore the 32 per cent reservation benefits for tribals, including calling a special Assembly session to pass bills.
Subsequently, Baghel wrote to Assembly Speaker Charandas Mahant urging him to convene a special session of the state on December 1 and 2 on the reservation issue.