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Private quota pot simmers

New Delhi, Oct. 19: The Centre today set the ball rolling for the second phase of reservation in higher education.

The bill to introduce a 27 per cent quota for other backward class students in unaided private institutions is on the cabinet secretariat’s table.

The first bill introducing 27 per cent reservation in government and government-aided institutions did not kick up as much dust as the second is expected to. A lobby within and outside the government has been arguing that a quota regime would result in a Rs 835-crore loss.

The government wants to smooth the hitches as much as possible before introducing the bill in the winter session of Parliament beginning next month.

Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee and human resource development minister Arjun Singh today began a three-day meeting with chief ministers to evolve a consensus on the bill. The chief ministers said they want the creamy layer to be excluded from the quota ambit.

The BJP governments in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, on the other hand, want minority educational institutions inside the quota purview to give SC/ST and OBC students a chance to study in minority-run professional institutions. In the southern states, minority institutions run a large number of institutions.

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