Bangladesh scraps reservation in government jobs following massive student protests

The Sheikh Hasina led Bangladeshi government on Wednesday scrapped reservation in the country of government jobs following massive student protests. National capital Dhaka one of the main points of protests saw groups of students blocking key roads and highways, besides clashing at the Dhaka university which resulted in injuries to more than 100 students.

The quota in Bangladesh up until now stood at 30% for families of freedom fighters, 10 percent for women, 10 percent for state districts, 5 percent for the minorities and 1 percent for the disabled. The anti-reservation protesters had demanded that the quota be brought down from 56 per cent to 10 per cent.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina though decided to scrap the quota altogether to avoid the repeated suffering of general people. As per Hasina, classes at various universities were suspended and the Vice Chancellor’s house too was attacked. With regards to the traffic jams, she questioned as to why should the general public suffer repeatedly.

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Over the point of reforming the quota system Hasina argued that the moment a reform is carried out, another group might emerge in the future seeking further reforms. She thus contended that if there was no quota, there won’t be any trouble.

In order to soften the blow for those bereft of reservation, Hasina claimed that a different arrangement will be made for disabled individuals and belonging to ethnic minorities.

As per due procedure, a cabinet secretary led committee will forward this recommendation to the Prime Minister who will then approve it. Following the approval, a circular validating it will be issued by the public administration ministry.

The reservation system in Bangladesh was open for reforms in the past, and just on 3 March, the public administration ministry had issued a circular saying that if no quota based candidate was found for a particular seat, it would be filled via the merit list.

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