Debating India

Parliament nod for OBC quota bill

Tuesday 19 December 2006

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The bill to extend 27 per cent reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in Centrally aided educational institutions got the seal of Parliamentary approval with the Rajya Sabha passing it by voice vote on Monday.

The House witnessed a division on an amendment moved by S.S. Ahluwalia of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It was defeated by 91 votes against it and 24 in favour.

Replying to a nearly six-hour debate on the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Bill, 2006, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh said a separate legislation for giving reservation in private unaided institutions was under preparation and it would be placed before Parliament in the near future.

He said that minority educational institutions were kept outside the purview of the bill due to Constitutional provisions, which would have to be changed.

Referring to the concerns raised by Mr. Ahluwalia, the Minister agreed that several measures for the upliftment of the OBCs and the socially backward classes should have been taken but it would be unfair to indulge in a "blame game."

He said the "need for giving reservation to the OBCs in Central educational institutions was felt and a small step has been taken in this direction."

Mr. Singh described the measure as a "small effort but a forward looking" one which would help in building a prosperous nation based on equality as all sections of society would be able to participate in the nation-building process. He said it was not the "final word" and the provisions would be implemented over the next three years.

However, if a Central educational institution had resources and faculty and was in a position to implement it in the coming year, the legislation would not hinder such a decision, he said.

Mr. Singh assured the House that the Government was committed to mobilising resources for implementation of the legislation from the Eleventh Five Year Plan. On the issue of girls’ education, he said the Government would not be found lacking in mobilising funds and other resources for it.

See online : The Hindu

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