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Government Updates Reservation System in J&K

Jammu and Kashmir Government Approves Significant Reservations and Amendments

In a significant move, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has granted 10 percent reservations to Paharis and three other tribes, increasing the total reservations under the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category to 20 percent. Additionally, eight percent reservations have been allocated to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), with the inclusion of 15 new castes in the OBC list as recommended by the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Commission.

The decision to grant reservations to Pahari Ethnic Tribe, Paddari tribe, Kolis, and Gadda Brahmins was approved by the Parliament during its budget session in February. This decision upholds the commitment to Gujjars and Bakerwals, ensuring that their existing 10 percent reservation remains intact while granting ST status to Paharis and three other tribes.

Under the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, the Administrative Council, attended by Advisor Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar and other key officials, approved the proposals for reservations. This move comes following the announcement by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in October 2022 regarding the ST status for Paharis.

Paharis, with a significant population in regions such as Poonch, Rajouri, Baramulla, and Kupwara, along with Paddari tribes settled in Kishtwar’s Paddar area, are among the beneficiaries. The inclusion of Kolis and Gadda Brahmins, albeit with smaller populations, also reflects the government’s commitment to equitable representation.

Moreover, the government has extended eight percent reservation to OBCs, replacing the previous four percent quota under the Other Social Castes (OSCs) category. This follows the Parliament’s approval during the last budget session for OBC reservations in various sectors, including government jobs, educational institutions, Panchayats, and Municipalities.

In addition to reservations, the Administrative Council has approved amendments to replace the term “Physically Challenged Persons” with “Persons with Disabilities” in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. These amendments aim to address the longstanding demands of marginalized communities for adequate representation in government jobs and professional courses, ensuring inclusivity and equal opportunities for all.

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