Bihar cabinet okays 35 percent job reservation for women

Patna, Jan 19 (IANS) The Bihar cabinet on Tuesday formally approved 35 percent reservation for women in all government jobs in the state, officials said.

The cabinet meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“Decision was taken of reservation for women in all government jobs including reserved and unreserved category,” an official in the chief minister’s office here said.

During campaigning for the Bihar assembly polls last year, Nitish Kumar, who was chief ministerial candidate of the Grand Alliance of Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress, had promised 35 percent reservation for women in all government jobs if he formed a government again.

Soon after being sworn-in as chief minister in November 2015, Nitish Kumar reiterated his stand to provide 35 percent reservation for women.

He also recalled that the state government is already providing 35 percent reservation for women in recruitment as police constables and sub-inspectors and 50 percent reservation as primary school teachers and in the Panchayati Raj system.

According to socio-political analysts here, a large number of women cutting across caste and religion had voted for Nitish Kumar in the last assembly polls.

In fact women voters outnumbered male voters in the five-phase Bihar assembly polls. They have emerged as a prominent vote bank – more powerful than the youth and caste factor in the state.

Experts said this was a result of several schemes initiated by Nitish Kumar for women’s empowerment including 50 percent posts in Panchayati Raj elections and primary
school teachers’ recruitment for women and 35 percent of all police jobs for women.

The government’s scheme to promote education among girls by providing them free cycles has increased school enrolment in rural areas.

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