The Indian supreme court has suspended a government plan toreserve more college places for lower castes, a move opposed by mainlyupper-caste students and many academics.
The federal government wants to boost the number of collegeplaces for lower-caste students to between 22.5 and 49.5 per cent at topstate-owned educational institutions.
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The court said it needed more accurate data on lower castes- labelled as "Other Backward Classes" by the government.
"The state is empowered to enact affirmative action tohelp backward classes, but it should not be unduly adverse to those who areleft out of such action," the court said.
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"Nowhere in the world do castes queue up to be brandedas backward. Nowhere in the world is there a competition to becomebackward."
Under its new policy, the government was planning to liftthe quota for universities to 49.5 per cent to embrace the "other backwardcastes" - or OBCs - who are one rung up on
In 1990, a similar government move to increase quotas ingovernment jobs for lower castes led to outrage, with dozens of upper-castestudents burning themselves to death in protest.
On Thursday, anxious upper-caste students crowding the courtlet out whoops of delight at the ruling and had to be restrained by securitystaff.
Under the government's existing affirmative action scheme,members of
In court, students opposed to the move to expand quotasargued that it would affect the quality of institutions that place a highpremium on merit.
It would amount to denying equal opportunity to all asmandated by
The federal government - a coalition of centrist and leftistpolitical parties- has insisted that it must remove centuries ofoppression of lower castes that have left them on the margins of society.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16