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In a major development, the Parliament today passed The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 aiming to introduce a ten percent reservation for those belonging to economically weaker sections of society.
The Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha today with 165 MPs voting for the Bill and 7 voting against it. It had already been passed by Lok Sabha yesterday.
The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill states that people from economically weaker sections of the society have largely remained excluded from attending the higher educational institutions and public employment on account of their financial incapacity to compete with the persons who are economically more privileged.
Reference is made to Article 46 of the Constitution of India, a Directive Principle that urges the government to protect the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of society. While socially disadvantaged sections have enjoyed affirmative action, no such benefit was provided to the economically weaker sections, the Bill states.
“With a view to fulfil the mandate of article 46, and to ensure that economically weaker sections of citizens to get a fair chance of receiving higher education and participation in employment in the services of the State, it has been decided to amend the Constitution of India.”
To this end, Article 15 is sought to be amended to provide reservations to economically weaker sections for admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions referred to in clause (1) of Article 30. This reservation is capped at ten percent.
Apart from this, Article 16 is sought to be amended to provide reservations to people from economically weaker sections in government posts.
Read the full text of the Bill