Bihar News: Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, recently unveiled a proposal to increase caste-based reservations in education and government jobs in the state from the current 50% to 65%. This move comes in the wake of a comprehensive caste census report presented in the state Assembly.
Under this plan, Scheduled Castes will be allotted a 20% reservation, while Other Backward Classes and Extremely Backward Classes will see their quota rise to 43%, a significant increase from the existing 30%. Scheduled Tribes will receive a 2% reservation. When combined with the existing 10% quota for Economically Weaker Sections, the total reservation in the state will reach 75%. A bill to expand these reservations is set to be introduced in the Assembly shortly.
SC had previously capped caste-based reservations at 50%
It’s worth noting that the Supreme Court had previously capped caste-based reservations at 50% in 1992. The newly revealed caste survey report, presented by the Chief Minister, highlights that over 94 lakh families, or 34.13% of households in Bihar, have a monthly income of Rs 6,000 or less, categorizing them as “poor.” Furthermore, approximately 29.61% of households (81.91 lakh families) earn between Rs 6,000 and Rs 10,000 per month, indicating that more than 63% of families in the state have a monthly income of up to Rs 10,000.
The report also points out that over 50 lakh people from Bihar have migrated outside the state in search of better education and employment opportunities. Of these, 46 lakh reside in other states in India, while 2.17 lakh are in other countries.
The caste survey was initiated by the Bihar government in response to the central government’s decision not to include communities other than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the decennial census. The survey’s findings, released on October 2, reveal that the Other Backward Classes and Extremely Backward Classes make up over 63% of the state’s population.
Bihar’s total population is slightly over 13.07 crore:
Bihar’s total population is slightly over 13.07 crore, with the Extremely Backward Classes representing 36%, followed by the Other Backward Classes at 27.13%. The Scheduled Castes account for 19.7% of the population, while the Scheduled Tribes make up 1.7%. The remaining 15.5% belongs to Bihar’s general population.
Bihar’s ruling coalition, primarily comprising the Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal, and the Congress, argues that the caste survey has enabled more efficient and equitable policy formulation for the Other Backward Classes and other castes.
Notably, on Sunday, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah accused the caste survey of inflating the number of Muslims and Yadavs in Bihar while reducing the count of Extremely Backward Classes, alleging it was part of the state government’s appeasement politics.