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Uttarakhand Approves A Bill Requiring A 30% Female Employment Quota

The Uttarakhand government has passed a measure to protect 30% horizontal reservations in state government services for women

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Jayanti Gautam
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Job Quota For Women
The Uttarakhand Public Services (Horizontal Reservation for Women) Bill, 2022, was approved on November 30 and is presently seeking state government approval.
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The Uttarakhand Public Services (Horizontal Reservation for Women) Bill, 2022, which is awaiting state government approval, was passed on November 30.

This took place few weeks after the Supreme Court lifted a stay by the Uttarakhand High Court regarding a 2006 government order that sought to implement the reservation.

Job Quota For Women

The bill aims to give jobs to women in the state who lose out on job openings and other chances because of the challenging terrain in some areas of the hill state. Women in Uttarakhand have poorer standards of life than other women living in the state's more prosperous districts since it is more difficult for them to obtain profitable job in these high-altitude or rural locations with little access to motor vehicles or employment possibilities. The bill was proposed with the intention of creating jobs in these regions.

Increasing the representation of women in local administration and governance was another justification for the recruiting reservation. According to the Uttarakhand government, the bill includes provisions for women that provide "social justice, equality of opportunity, and increase in standard of living."

Arguements against the Bill

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In 2006, the Narayan Datt Tiwari-led Congress government in Uttarakhand issued a government order granting horizontal reservations for women holding domicile certificates throughout the state.

Women who took the Uttarakhand Combined Service and Senior Service of the State Public Service Commission examinations were subject to the reservations. Without regard to caste, creed, economic standing, or place of birth, the reservation was available to all women having domicile certificates.

In 2022, 16 women from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, including Pavitra Chauhan, Ananya Attri, and others, filed a petition to overturn the 2006 ruling on the grounds that it was discriminatory to make reservations in public sector hiring on the basis of residence. The petitioners were female candidates for the state's civil services exams who were not residents of Uttarakhand and did not fall under any restricted categories. The women said that despite scoring higher than the cutoff for students with domicile certificates, they were not given permission to take the final exam.

The Uttarakhand High Court responded to the petition by staying the 2006 decision. Additionally, it stated that quotas should be seen as a horizontal reservation for women, regardless of their domicile or place of residence.

However, the current BJP administration, led by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, has reiterated the 2006 order. The Dhami government requested a stay from the supreme court in response to the Uttrakhand High Court's decision.


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