The Rajasthan Assembly passed Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in State and of Appointment and Posts in Services under State) Bill, 2017 by voice vote.The bill seeks to provide 5% reservation to Gujjars and four other nomadic communities viz. Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Raika and Gadariya in state government jobs and educational institutions as Other Backward Classes (OBCs). It increases reservation for OBCs from 21% to 26%. It also creates new most backward category within OBCs for providing quota benefit to Gujjars and four other nomadic communities. With passage of bill, reservation in Rajasthan now stands at 54%, exceeding 50% ceiling mandated by Supreme Court.
Earlier also Rajasthan Assembly had passed Special Backward Classes Act 2015 to provide 5% reservation for these castes by creating a separate Special Backward Castes category. However, Rajasthan High Court had struck down the legislation saying that quota cannot not only exceed 50% limit set by Supreme Court. It also pointed out flaws in government’s process of granting additional 5% reservation for these castes and held that it is not supported by quantifiable data supporting the claim of Gujjars’ backwardness.