Upper House Says No To 50% Quota For Women In Colleges

Upper House Says No To 50% Quota For Women In Colleges

11 October 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Majid Jahangir

Srinagar: The J&K Legislative Council on Friday rejected a resolution seeking 50 per cent reservation for women in professional and technical colleges. The resolution was moved by a legislator of the ruling National Conference, Dr Shehnaz Ganai, who sought 50 reservation for women in professional and technical colleges to empower women in the state. “In 1996, Dr Farooq sahib (Farooq Abddullah) took a revolutionary step when he reserved 50 per cent seats for women in medical collages in Jammu and Kashmir. Now you see half of the doctors in hospitals are women,” Shehnaz Ganai said in the Upper House on the last day of the session. “But if we see the share of women in other departments in the state, it is very poor,” she said, adding that it was necessary for the House to pass the resolution on reservation for women. Minister for Planning and Development Ajay Sadhotra, however, spoke against 50 per cent reservation for women. “Our government is for women empowerment, but I insist that women should compete in various fields and not look for reservation,” he said. Sadhotra was interrupted by NC member Devender Singh Rana, who described the former’s statement as an act of 'male chauvinism'. People’s Democratic Party (PDP) member Nayeed Akthar and Congress MLC Jahangir Mir also supported the resolution in their speeches. The support from NC leader Rana, the Congress and the PDP buoyed Ganai, who pressed for a vote on the resolution. But when the resolution was put to vote, except Ganai and the PDP members no one supported the resolution. Rana and Mir, who in their speeches supported women reservation, did not vote in favour of the resolution. The resolution on women reservation in professional and technical colleges was later dropped by the Upper House. Session concludes Chairman of J&K Legislative Council Amrit Malhotra on Friday adjourned the House sine die. The 109th session of the Legislative Council had commenced on September 30. NUMBER GAME * The resolution, seeking 50 reservation for women in professional and technical colleges in the state, was moved by National Conference legislator Shehnaz Ganai * The motion was initially verbally supported by NC member Devender Singh Rana and Congress MLC Jahangir Mir * However, when the resolution was put to vote, no one supported it except Ganai and the PDP members. Rana and Mir, who in their speeches supported women reservation, did not vote in favour of the resolution