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Existing reservation quota limit of the Indian states

Reservation in India is provided to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) at the rate of 15%, 7.5% and 27%, respectively, in case of direct recruitment on all India basis by open competition.

The Supreme Court on May 5 struck down the Maharashtra government’s decision to exceed 50 per cent reservation for the Maratha community in education and jobs. The court said the Maratha community was not Educationally and Socially Backward Category (ESBC).

The court said, “The 2018 Maharashtra state law violates the right to equality. We won’t re-examine the 1992 verdict which capped reservation at 50%.”

As per existing instructions, reservation is provided to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) at the rate of 15%, 7.5% and 27%, respectively, in case of direct recruitment on all India basis by open competition. In direct recruitment on all India basis, other than by open competition, the percentage fixed is 16.66% for SCs, 7.5% for STs and 25.84% for OBCs.

10% reservation under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category applies to those not covered under the existing scheme of reservations for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, and the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.

The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act 2019 passed by Parliament enables the State (i.e., both the Central and State Governments) to provide reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the society. Whether or not to provide reservation to the EWS of the society for appointment in State Government jobs and admission to State Government educational institutions, as per provisions of the newly inserted Articles 15(6) and 16(6) of the Constitution, is to be decided by the State Government.

Since the 1992 order, several states have passed laws breaching the 50% ceiling, including Haryana, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.

Laws made by many of these states have either been stayed or are facing legal challenges.

Constitution Bench of Supreme Court on May 5 held the Maharashtra government Maratha reservation, more than the 50% ceiling fixed by a 9-judge Bench in the Indra Sawhney case, illegal.

Many states have breached the 50% ceiling before and intend to bring more reservations. A notable example is in Tamil Nadu. Its Act of 1993 reserves 69% of the seats in colleges and jobs in the state government. However, this was done by amending the Constitution, to place the law in the Ninth Schedule after the Indra Sawhney judgment.

In January 2000, the Governor of the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh declared 100% reservation to Scheduled Tribes (ST) candidates in posts of school teachers in Scheduled Areas. However, it was ruled unconstitutional by the apex court.

Have a look at the states where presently how much reservation quota of states exists.

In Haryana and Bihar, it is 60% quota after including 10% EWS quota.

In Telangana right now is 50% but four years ago in 2017, the Telangana government had passed a bill hiking the reservation of Muslims from 4 to 12% and Scheduled Tribes from 6 to 10% , taking the overall reservation in the State beyond 50%.

While in Gujarat, it is 59% after including EWS quota, there is 60% in jobs in Kerala.

Currently, Tamil Nadu has 69 per cent reservations, including 18 per cent for Scheduled Caste, 1 per cent for Scheduled Tribes category, 20 per cent for Most Backward Castes (MBC) and 30 per cent reservation for Other Backward Castes (OBC). The OBC quota includes reservations for minority communities, including a 3.5 per cent reservation for Muslims.

The Chhattisgarh government had decided to hike reservation for OBC’s to 27% — that took the overall quota to 82% in the state including 10 % EWS quota from 58%. But in October 2019, the division bench of the high court had stayed the reservation order.

The Madhya Pradesh government in 2019 raises the total quota in state government jobs to 73%, including the 10% reservation for the economically weaker section (EWS) from the upper castes but the HC stayed this.

The reservation to scheduled categories in Jharkhand is currently capped at 50 per cent, besides the 10 per cent quota to the EWS (Economically Weaker Section) in the general category. While the Scheduled Tribes (ST) get a 26 per cent quota, Scheduled Castes (SCs) get 10 per cent and OBCs have 14 per cent reservation.

In Rajasthan, including 5% reservation for most backward classes (MBCs) and 10% for economically weaker sections (EWS), the total reservation is 64%. The State government has tried thrice to give 5% reservation to Gujjars as a ‘Special Backward class’, but the Rajasthan High Court struck down the legislation every time. It ruled that the quota had not only exceeded the 50% limit but was also not supported by the quantifiable data. The matter is being heard in the court.

Following the 2001 State Reservation Act, the total reservation in Maharashtra was 52%. With the addition of 12% (Education)-13% (Jobs) Maratha quota, the total reservation in the state had gone up to 64-65%. The 10% quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) announced by the Centre in 2019 is also effective in the state. But after the Supreme Court order on the Maratha reservation, the total reservation of the state stands at 62% including 10% for EWS.



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