Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said those criticising the decision of his government to introduce reservation in outsourced services have very little understanding of the issue as he vehemently defended the move.
Kumar stressed the provision was brought in accordance with the Bihar Reservation Act 2003.
He said that as per the act if the government hires somebody for its work even if through an outsourcing company, and pays salary from its coffers, then the quota system prevailing in the state will apply.
"If we (the government) award a contract to somebody for undertaking a work, then the contractor will not be bound by quota policy since he will be hiring and he will be paying," he said. "But, in case of outsourced services availed of by the government, the rules will be obviously different."
He also refuted allegations that the proposal which was cleared by the cabinet last week was an attempt to introduce reservation in private sector through back door.
He, however, said "we in principle" favour reservation in private sector too. "But, for that parliament has to take initiative in accordance with provisions of the Constitution."
"I would like to remind everybody that this is not the first experiment of its kind that we have undertaken in Bihar."
“In 2006, the state government recruited a large number of ex-army personnel (in Special Auxiliary Police force) to make up for the shortfall of policemen in the state, Reservation was in place in their case also,” he added.
Reservation benefits to outsourced employees will be on the same lines as to the regular ones wherein quotas have been earmarked for SCs, STs, OBCs, women etc, he said.
"Then there is also horizontal reservation - for Divyangs (physically handicapped) or children of ex-servicemen.