They have also called for immediate issuance of the gazette notification, abolishing the quota system in public service
Students and job-seekers have demanded reformation of the quota systemin all classes of government jobs – not just the first and second.
Bangladesh General Students Rights Protection Council (BGSRPC), which has been spearheading the quota reform movement, made the demand at a rally on Dhaka University (DU) campus on Tuesday morning.
Prior to the rally, the students had also brought out a procession that went around the campus before ending at the TSC intersection.
BGSRPC Joint Convener Nurul Haque Nur said that they would continue their movement if the government does not issue a gazette notification in line with their demands. “The recently issued circular of the 40th Bangladesh Civil Service(BCS) examinations,” he said, “did not comply with our demands.”
He added: "We do not want an abolishment of quota in the first and second class government jobs only, but for all classes. We also demand cancelation of the existing 56% quotas, based on which the 40th BCS circular has been issued."
The students’ reaction came a day after a government-formed committee recommended abolishing the quota system for first and second class government jobs.
Cabinet Secretary Md Shafiul Alam submitted a report in this regard to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the weekly Cabinet meeting on Monday.
Later, Shafiul told reporters: “We have recommended cancellation of quotas in recruiting officers from ninth grade to 13th grade, meaning previous first class and second class jobs.”
He also said that they recommended “completely merit-based” recruitment from Grade-9 to Grade-13 and “no more quotas for the descendents of freedom fighters and people from ethnic minority groups.”
The recommendations, however, drew mixed reactions from the activists, academicians and experts.
BGSRPC somewhat welcomed the committee’s proposals, but demanded their immediate implementation.
Chhatra League’s ‘counter’ program
Quota reform movement leader Nurul Haque Nur also alleged that leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Chhatra League had brought out counter procession and interrupted their son Tuesday.
Chhatra League had brought out another procession on the DU campus to welcome the government-formed committee’s decision. Nur alleged that the Chhatra League activists had tried to stop BGSRPC's procession wherever it went.
Chhatra League’s DU unit General Secretary Saddam Hossain, however, denied the allegations, saying that they would not stop any processions or meetings held under BGSRPC’s banner.
On July 2, the Public Administration Ministry had formed the seven-member committee to review, reform, or revoke the existing quota system, following a nationwide movement of public and private university students demanding its reformation.
The movement, which started in February, intensified since April after clashes between the activists and police and Chhatra League on the DU campus.
In response, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 11 had announced that all quotas would be abolished.
Currently, about 55% of government jobs are reserved for candidates from various quotas, which include freedom fighters (30%), women (10%), district (10%) and small ethnic groups (5%); while recruitment of the remaining 45% officials is merit-based.
After submitting the report on Monday, Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam had also said: “Now the Public Administration Ministry will submit the report to the Cabinet after getting the Prime Minister’s approval, and the gazette notification in this regard will be issued thereafter.”