12th January, 2023 POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
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- The Governor of Uttarakhand has signed the Uttarakhand Public Services (Horizontal Reservation for Women) Bill, 2022 to allow 30% reservation to the native women of the State.
- The native women candidates will get the benefit of 30% reservation in public services and posts.
- In 2006, the state government issued an order for 30% horizontal reservation for women of Uttarakhand in State government jobs.
- The order was challenged in Nainital High Court.
- In August 2022, the High Court stayed the reservation order.
- According to petitioners, the State government does not have the power to provide reservations based on the residence of the State.
- Indian Constitution only allows the Parliament to make reservations based on domicile.
- Therefore the 2006 order of the State government violates Articles 14, 16, 19 and 21 of the Constitution.
- In November 2022, the Supreme Court of India stayed the order of the High Court.
- In the last week of November 2022, the government introduced the Bill in the House, which was passed on November 30.
- The Governor examined the bill with the suggestions of legal experts before approving it.
Vertical and Horizontal reservations:
- Reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes is referred to as the Vertical reservation.
- It applies separately for each of the groups specified under the law.
- Horizontal reservation refers to the equal opportunity provided to other categories of beneficiaries such as women, veterans, the transgender community, and individuals with disabilities, cutting through the vertical categories.
- The horizontal quota is applied separately to each vertical category, and not across the board.
- For example, if women have a 50% horizontal quota, then half of the selected candidates will have to necessarily be women in each vertical quota category — i.e., half of all selected SC candidates will have to be women, half of the unreserved or general category will have to be women, and so on.
Reservation System in India:
- The Reservation system is an arrangement of affirmative action where a certain percentage of seats are reserved in Public employment and educational institutions.
- In India, the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and socially and economically backward communities who were earlier poorly represented in the Public sector and educational institutions are now covered under the reservation facility.
- In India, about 60% of seats are reserved for various sections like ST, SC, OBC, and EWS in Government jobs and Higher Education Institutions.
- 3% of seats are also reserved for differently-abled persons across all categories.
- The reservation policy is also enforced for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for representation in the Indian Parliament.
- The reservation issue has also remained a cause of conflict between the reserved and the non-reserved sections of society.