The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar has formally increased the reservation quota for deprived castes from 50% to 65% in state government jobs and educational institutions. The development comes after Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar granted his assent, paving the way for the implementation of the enhanced quota. Governor Arlekar sent formal notifications for both bills—the Bihar Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services Amendment Bill and the Bihar Reservation (Admission in Educational Institutions) Amendment Bill, 2023—to the state government, endorsing the proposed changes.
This move followed the recent clearance of both bills by the state legislature during the winter session, occurring shortly after the government presented a detailed analysis of the landmark caste survey report in the assembly.
The amendments in the bills outline an increase in reservation percentages for various categories, with Scheduled Castes (SC) rising from 16% to 20%, Scheduled Tribes (STs) from 1% to 2%, extremely backward castes (EBCs) from 18% to 25%, and other backward classes (OBCs) from 15% to 18%.
The total quantum of reservations in jobs and educational institutions will now reach 75% in the state, considering the existing 10% quota reserved for economically weaker sections (EWS). This move is aligned with the government’s commitment to address social disparities and promote inclusivity.
The swift assent from Governor Arlekar materialised just days after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed optimism about the bills receiving formal approval from the Raj Bhavan. The government’s proactive approach in aligning reservation policies with the evolving socio-economic landscape underscores Bihar’s commitment to equitable opportunities for all sections of society.