To enable quota for economically-weak, 25% hike in college seats
Union Minister for Education Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday announced a 25% increase in seats across universities and colleges in the country to ensure the new caste-agnostic reservation doesn't affect the existing quotas. The changes will come into effect from 2019-2020 session, Javadekar said. However, the institutions have been asked to include details of reservation for economically weaker sections in their prospectuses immediately.
The decision, to facilitate students coming from economically weaker backgrounds, was taken in a meeting held with the University Grants Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) on Tuesday. The new quota system will be applicable to all universities (private and government-run) for higher education. To give a perspective, the country has nearly 40,000 colleges and 900 universities.
"The unreserved category is getting quota benefit for the first time. If 100 seats are being offered today, they will be 125 from now on to ensure that the existing quota is not affected," Javadekar said adding the institutes will get an operational mandate soon.
The new law ensures 10% reservation for EWS in government jobs and higher education. The bill was passed in Lok Sabha on January 9 after a long debate. In the Lower House, only 3 MPs voted against it. In the Rajya Sabha, the debate went on for eight hours after which the bill got approval. Last week, President Ram Nath Kovind signed the bill.
People belonging to the general category and having less than Rs. 8 lakh annual income or less than 5 acres of land, will be eligible for this reservation. Notably, in states like Telangana and Tamil Nadu, people from general category make for less than 10% population. So, in these states, the law is likely to be tweaked.