States Current Affairs - 2019

Current Affairs 2019-2020 of all States with latest updates. Current Affairs will list latest developments, issues in all states and may be useful for State PCS / Civil services examinations of various states of India.

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Rajasthan Backward Classes Amendment Bill, 2019

The Rajasthan Assembly has passed the Rajasthan Backward Classes Amendment Bill, 2019. The bill aims to address the demands of the Gujjars who are protesting for reservations.

Features of the Bill

The features of the Rajasthan Backward Classes Amendment Bill, 2019 are:

  • It provides five per cent quota in jobs and educational institutions to Gurjars, Banjaras, Gadia Lohars, Raikas and Gadaria communities.
  • The communities, namely Gurjars, Banjaras, Gadia Lohars, Raikas and Gadaria are currently provided one per cent reservation under More Backward Classes (MBC).
  • The Bill seeks to grant them an additional four per cent quota.
  • The statement on the objective and reasons for the bill said the five castes are the most backward and required a separate reservation in government jobs and educational institutes.
  • The bill increases the ceiling of creamy layer from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.
  • With the 5 per cent quota for Gurjars, Banjaras, Gadia Lohars, Raikas and Gadaria communities the backward classes’ reservation in the state has increased from present 21 per cent to 26 per cent.
  • The reservations in Rajasthan now crosses the 50 per cent cap on reservations set by the Supreme Court.
  • To avoid the possible legal tussle the Rajasthan Assembly passed a resolution and urged the Centre to incorporate it in the 9th schedule to ensure the reservation for these communities.

The statement on the objective and reasons for the bill notes that Parliament has amended the Constitution to exceed the limit of 50 per cent laid down by the Indra Sawhney case having regard to the compelling circumstances in which Economically Weaker Sections of the society are languishing.

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Rajasthan Assembly Passes Bill to Scrap Minimum Education Qualification for Civic Polls

The Legislative Assembly of Rajasthan passed the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Rajasthan Municipality (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to end the minimum education criterion for panchayat and civic polls candidates.

What was the education criterion proposed?

As per the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Amendment Bill 2015, Candidates were:

  • Required to have passed Class X for contesting municipal elections, Class VIII for contesting panchayat polls for the post of a sarpanch, and Class X for contesting Zila Parishad or Panchayat Samiti elections.
  • Construction of toilets in their homes as mandatory for contesting polls to the panchayati raj institutions in the state.

Even the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutional validity of a similar law in Haryana which mandated education qualification for candidacy in local polls. The Supreme Court had said that “it is only education which gives a human being the power to discriminate between right and wrong, good and bad”.

Why the government scrapped the criterion?

In the run-up to the assembly elections in 2018, the Congress Party had included in its manifesto that it would abolish the minimum education criterion for panchayat and civic polls candidates if it comes to power.

Defending the bill the government stated in assembly that Sarpanches awarded by President, Vice President were declared ineligible due to the provisions in the previous Act. The Act was against the basic tenants of the Constitution and society cannot be divided on the basis of education.

The government even stated that several cases had come up where people contested the election on the basis of fake certificates. The minimum education qualification created two sections in the society and the illiterate people had started feeling inferior.

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