The Uttarakhand Assembly has recently passed a Bill to provide 30 per cent horizontal reservation to local women in state government services.

 

What is the bill?

  • The Bill proposes to plug gender gaps by providing women with 30 per cent horizontal reservation in public services and posts, in addition to the existing quotas applicable in the state.
  • The beneficiaries need to be women with a domicile certificate of Uttarakhand.
  • The reservation will be applicable for posts in local authorities, Uttarakhand co-operative committees in which the holding of the state government is not less than 51 per cent of share capital, board or corporation or legal body established by any central or Uttarakhand State Act which is under the ownership or control of the state government, and any educational institution under the ownership and control of the state government or which receives grants in aid from the state government.
  • If enough women are not available to fill the reserved seats, they will be filled with qualified male candidates in the order of proficiency.

 

Vertical and Horizontal reservations

  • In December 2020, the Supreme Court clarified the position of the law on the interplay of vertical and horizontal reservations.
  • A decision by a two-judge Bench in the case of Saurav Yadav versus State of Uttar Pradesh dealt with issues arising from the way different classes of reservation were to be applied in the selection process to fill posts of constables in the state.
      • Vertical reservation — A vertical reservation applies separately for each of the groups specified under the law.
      • Horizontal reservation — The horizontal quota is always applied separately to each vertical category, and not across the board.
  • Reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes is referred to as vertical reservation.
  • Horizontal reservation refers to the equal opportunity provided to other categories of beneficiaries such as women, veterans, the transgender community, and individuals with disabilities, cutting through the vertical categories.
      • For example, if women have 50 per cent horizontal quota, then half of the selected candidates will have to necessarily be women in each vertical quota category — i.e., half of all selected SC candidates will have to be women, half of the unreserved or general category will have to be women, and so on.