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Dhaka Tribune

Indigenous students demand reinstatement of quota reserved for them

They also announced a series of programs to press home their demands

Update : 08 Oct 2018, 04:17 PM

Indigenous students have demanded the reinstatement of a 5% of quota reserved for them in all categories of government jobs.  

They placed the demand under the platform of Adivasi Quota Songrokkhon Parishad at a press conference, at Madhur Canteen of Dhaka University, on Monday.

“No representative from more than 40 ethnic communities has entered the civil service yet. Even a big portion of the indigenous community is deprived and neglected. So, the abolition of the indigenous quota means stopping their representation,” said Platform Coordinator William Nokrek, who read out a written statement.

He said: “An indigenous student of the marginal zone should not be compared to a student studying in a good school or college of Dhaka or other developed cities. It is not right to push everyone into equal competition until the equal opportunity is ensured for everyone.”

William further said quota reformists demanded reforms to the 56% quota, not the abolition of quotas. 

“Though there are debates and arguments about keeping the other quotas, there is no objection against reserving the quota privilege for indigenous and physically-challenged people. The quota system can be reformed, but its abolition will not be beneficial for us.”  

The coordinator said the quota system is a constitutional right for the indigenous community according to the constitution’s section 28(4) and 29(3). “We want our 5% quota back to honour the constitution.”

William announced their next programs to press home their demands.

The programs include leading a procession around 4pm on Monday, from the TSC, and protests on Tuesday, across the country.

On Wednesday, they will blockade major highways, and on October 13, a solidarity rally will be held in Dhaka’s Shahbagh.

On October 3, the Cabinet approved a proposal on abolishing quotas for first and second class government jobs. 

The next day, the Ministry of Public Administration issued a circular, which said recruitment for first – ninth grade – and second class –10th-13th grade– government jobs will be on a merit basis—and the existing quota system has been scrapped.

Descendants of freedom fighters have taken to the streets protesting against the decision and demanding the reinstatement of 30% quota for freedom fighters. 

Previously, on April 11, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the scrapping of the quota system—amid student protests for reforms to the quota system in government jobs.

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