Rajasthan Current Affairs

Ajeya Warrior-2017: Indo-UK combined military exercise held in Rajasthan

The Combined Military exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior- 2017’ between India and the UK was held at Mahajan Field Firing Range near Bikaner of Rajasthan. It was third joint military exercise between India and UK. The first exercise was conducted in 2013 at Belgaum, Karnataka and second exercise was held in 2015 in UK.

Key Facts

The objective of this exercise is to increase mutual cooperation and coordination between two countries. Both armies will learn and share from each other’s experiences. About 120 Army personnel from both armies participated in exercise. 20 Rajputana Rifles unit of Indian Army and first battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment of UK Army had participated in the exercise.

20 Rajputana Rifles has special experience in field of counter terrorism in Operation Pawan and operations in Jammu and Kashmir. First Battalion of Royal Anglian Regiment has experience of showing war skills in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The 14-day exercise was conducted in multiple modes nodules in order to achieve complete integration between two contingents at every stage. The exercise provided field commanders and troops and opportunity to interact with each other in matters professional, social and cultural.

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Rajasthan passes bill to provide reservation to Gujjars and four other nomadic communities

The Rajasthan Assembly passed Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in State and of Appointment and Posts in Services under State) Bill, 2017 by voice vote

The bill seeks to provide 5% reservation to Gujjars and four other nomadic communities viz. Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Raika and Gadariya in state government jobs and educational institutions as Other Backward Classes (OBCs). It increases reservation for OBCs from 21% to 26%. It also creates new most backward category within OBCs for providing quota benefit to Gujjars and four other nomadic communities. With passage of bill, reservation in Rajasthan now stands at 54%, exceeding 50% ceiling mandated by Supreme Court.

Background

Earlier also Rajasthan Assembly had passed Special Backward Classes Act 2015 to provide 5% reservation for these castes by creating a separate Special Backward Castes category. However, Rajasthan High Court had struck down the legislation saying that quota cannot not only exceed 50% limit set by Supreme Court. It also pointed out flaws in government’s process of granting additional 5% reservation for these castes and held that it is not supported by quantifiable data supporting the claim of Gujjars’ backwardness.

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