The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 26, 2023. It amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004. The Act provides for reservation in jobs and admission in professional institutions to members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other socially and educationally backward classes. Key features of the Bill include:
Socially and educationally backward classes: Under the Act, socially and educationally backward classes include: (i) people residing in villages declared as socially and educationally backward by the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir, (ii) people residing in areas adjoining the Actual Line of Control and International Border, and (iii) weak and under-privileged classes (social castes), as notified. The government may make inclusions or exclusions from category of weak and under-privileged classes, on the recommendations of a Commission. The Bill substitutes weak and under-privileged classes with other backward classes as declared by the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. The definition of weak and under-privileged classes is deleted from the Act.