new reservation rules in jammu & kashmir impact on open mer

New Reservation Rules in Jammu & Kashmir: Impact on Open Merit Candidates

Ishfaq Deka

Jammu & Kashmir have recently introduced new reservation rules which have led to significant changes in the percentage of seats reserved for various categories. This has stirred a debate about the implications for open merit (OM) candidates, particularly in competitive exams like NEET, JEE, and government job recruitments.

Under the previous reservation rules, the percentages were as follows:

  • SC: 8%
  • ST: 10%
  • OBC: 4%
  • RBA: 10%
  • ALC/IB: 4%
  • EWS: 10%
  • Horizontal Reservation (Ex-servicemen, PWD): Varied Percentages
  • Open Merit (OM): 44%

The new rules have introduced the following revisions:

  • SC: Increase to 20%
  • ST: Increase to 10% (Unchanged)
  • OBC: Increase to 8%
  • RBA: Remains at 10%
  • ALC/IB: Remains at 4%
  • EWS: Remains at 10%
  • Horizontal Reservation (Ex-servicemen, PWD): Varied Percentages
  • Open Merit (OM): Decrease to 30%

The Issue of Discrimination

The alteration in reservation percentages has reduced the seats available for open merit candidates from 44% to 30%. This decrease is seen by some as a form of discrimination against OM candidates, particularly those competing in exams like NEET, JEE, or seeking government employment.

Potential Effects on Job and Education Opportunities

Competitive Exams

The lesser percentage of open merit seats could mean higher competition among general category students appearing for exams such as NEET and JEE. With fewer seats for OM candidates, the cut-off scores may rise, necessitating higher performance for admission to medical and engineering courses.

NEET Breakup of Seats after New Reservation Policy

Job Recruitment

Government job recruitment processes that follow the reservation percentages may also see a tighter competition for OM candidates. With a 14% reduction in open category seats, the pressure to secure a place may intensify, possibly affecting the general category’s job prospects in the public sector.

Seeking a Balance

An essential aspect of implementing reservation policies is to maintain a balance between ensuring fair opportunities for historically disadvantaged groups and upholding meritocracy. Finding the middle ground is critical for social equity and harmony.

The recent changes in Jammu & Kashmir’s reservation rules are an attempt to address historical imbalances. However, the impact on OM candidates is substantial, raising crucial questions about fairness and equal opportunity in both education and employment.

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