M A I N   N E W S

Quota Bill likely to be cleared today
27 pc reservation for OBCs in IITs, IIMs
Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
Coming under pressure from its allies, the Union Cabinet is likely to take up the Bill providing 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in government-aided institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management and clear it for parliamentary approval.

The Cabinet is likely to consider only the legislation related to government-aided institutions like IITs and IIMs, though the Human Resource Development Ministry has also prepared a draft Bill regarding quotas in unaided universities, official sources pointed out.

The UPA government is delinking the unaided institutions from the process as it wants the quota Bill pertaining to aided institutions passed before the monsoon session of Parliament ends on August 25.

The government has already committed itself to introducing the Bill in the current session.

A draft Bill for quotas in unaided institutions, which is in circulation among various ministries, is likely to be taken up later, after the Oversight Committee headed by former Karnataka Chief Minister Veerappa Moily prepares a roadmap for the same.

The HRD Ministry is understood to have left the contentious issue of including the creamy layer within the OBCs in the new quota policy to the Union Cabinet.

The UPA’s southern allies—DMK and PMK—have petitioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for implementing the quota in one go.

DMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Karunandhi and PMK founder S. Ramadoss wrote to the Prime Minister recently, saying that there should be no dilution on the issue.

Backed by Left parties and key allies like the DMK and PMK, HRD Minister Arjun Singh did not want any delay in implementing quotas from the next academic year.

The Oversight Committee in its interim report presented to the Prime Minister recently gave strong indications that the implementation could be done in phases in view of certain issues and constraints expressed by the elite institutions.

The institutions have expressed concern at the time frame for implementing the quotas and the possibility of sudden expansion of seats “leading to loss of merit and excellence”.

The Oversight Committee is expected to submit its final report by August 31.





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