President Ram Nath Kovind okays Upper caste quote Bill: After its passage in both the Houses-Lok and Rajya Sabha, the 124th Constitution Amendment Bill received a nod from President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday, January 12, that aims to provide 10% reservation to economically weaker sections of the general category, also known as the upper caste quota Bill, which will provide 10% quote in educational and employment sector. As per the official notification, it will be known as the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 and will come into force as soon as the Centre notifies it. 

With President’s clearance, the Bill has officially become a law. Following an incessant debate in Rajya Sabha, the Bill was passed with as many as 165 votes and is expected to benefits various sections of upper caste including Brahmins, Jats, Thakurs, Marathas, Bhumihars. It will also include Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists among other minority communities. The Bill provides reservation to those who earn an income less than 8 lakh per annum or have agricultural land that is less than 5 acres. 

While many in the Opposition supported the bill, a few said it is a “political gimmick” ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, while other said its existence comes due to the government’s incompetence in providing employment as it had promised during 2014 elections.

Meanwhile, a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court by an NGO called Youth For Equality challenging the Constitution amendment Bill. The organisation has claimed that the economic criterion cannot be the sole basis for any reservation.

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