India extends quotas in government jobs to poor, upper caste
NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s Parliament has approved a bill providing a 10 percent quota in government jobs for the poor, upper caste people left out of existing quotes for low-ranking castes.
The Congress party and other opposition parties supported the legislation Wednesday, but criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for bringing it months before the national elections to garner votes.
The Modi government unexpectedly moved the the bill in the lower house of Parliament on Tuesday and got it approved. The upper house adopted it on Wednesday. It now needs the approval of India’s president, a formality, to become law.
Discrimination under the caste system was outlawed soon after India’s independence from Britain in 1947. But the system’s influence remains strong.
Until now, 49.5 percent of government jobs were allocated to lower castes.