New Delhi : The Modi Government will come under attack in the next budget session of Parliament for defying the Constitution guaranteeing reservation to OBCs, SCs and STs in private educational institutions as per an amendment enacted in 2005.

The 93rd Constitution Amendment inserts Article 15(5) empowering the government  to make any special provision by law for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in admissions to the educational institutions “including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority institutions.”

The amendment was brought to ensure greater access to these category of students in higher education, particularly professional education, since the number of seats available in aided or State maintained institutions, particularly in respect of professional education, are limited in comparison to those in private unaided institutions.

The government’s stand against it came to light during a hearing by a Parliamentary committee constituted to keep a tab on the assurances given by the government in the Lok Sabha. The Human Resources Development Ministry urged the committee, headed by BJP MP Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, to drop the assurance given by one of its former minister to bring a Bill to implement quota to these disadvantaged groups in the private colleges. The committee rejected the request in its report tabled in the House on December 21, leaving it for Parliament to take the final call the issue. Trinamool Congress member Sugata Bose, who is a member of the committee, said the committee took the stand that the assurances made on the floor of the House cannot be dropped.

The assurance to get a Bill passed to ensure reservation in the private educational institution was given by then Minister of State Shashi Tharoor in reply to an unstarred question on August 14, 2013. He had told the House that a proposal to bring the law has been formulated by the ministry but “it needs detailed consultations and consensus amongst key stakeholders.”

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