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Cabinet secretary: Review committee for abolition of almost all quotas

  • Published at 03:43 pm August 13th, 2018
Quota reform protest
File photo of quota reform protest Dhaka Tribune

However, Shafiul Alam says court directive will be sought over the freedom fighter quota

The committee formed by the government to review the existing quota system is in favour of making proposal to abolish almost all the quotas in public services, giving priority to talent, says the Cabinet secretary.

"We (committee) have almost finalized the proposition... Our recommendations are to withdraw almost all the quotas and give priority to merits," Mohammad Shafiul Alam told reporters after the weekly Cabinet meeting held at the Secretariat on Monday, reports UNB.

He, however, said court directives would be sought before taking any decision about the freedom fighters quota.

According to the observation, he said, the posts under the freedom fighters quota would have to be kept vacant in case of non-availability of qualified candidates.

Shafiul said the government would seek opinion from the court and there would be no freedom fighter quota if the court orders to drop it.

"Any instruction or observation of the court has become a binding one for our executive division. We can never ignore it," he added.

Noting that time has come to open up the competition, he said: "Our decision (recommendation) is to go for merits as much as possible by scrapping the quota system."

He stressed: "It is our primary proposition."

The government had formed the seven-member committee on July 2 with the Cabinet secretary as its convener to review the existing quota system in government jobs.

The other members of the committee are secretaries to the Public Administration Ministry, Finance Division, Liberation War Affairs Ministry, Legislative Division and Bangladesh Public Service Commission, and the acting secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office.

In April, students of public and private universities across the country had waged a strong movement demanding reformation of the existing quota system.

In the face of the movement, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced in parliament on April 11 that all types of quotas would be abolished.

The current quota system reserves 56% government jobs for some selected groups, depriving many deserving candidates from entering the public service sector and universities.

At present, 30% seats are reserved for the descendants of the freedom fighters. There is also 10% district quota. Another 10% is reserved for women and 5% for the ethnic minorities.

If the 55% quota is not filled, 1% goes to the physically challenged.

However, these government posts remain vacant if candidates from these selected groups fail in the recruitment tests.