Madhya Pradesh Government’s Landmark Policy: 35% Reservation for Women in State Jobs

Madhya Pradesh Government's Landmark Policy: 35% Reservation for Women in State Jobs
Madhya Pradesh Government's Landmark Policy: 35% Reservation for Women in State Jobs

In a significant stride towards gender equality and the empowerment of women, the Madhya Pradesh government has unveiled a groundbreaking policy that reserves a substantial 35% of all state government job positions for women, with the exception of the Forest Department. This progressive amendment to the Madhya Pradesh Civil Services (Special Provision for Appointment of Women) Rules, 1997, arrives just ahead of the forthcoming state assembly elections.

The notification explicitly states, “Notwithstanding anything contained in any service rules, there shall be reserved 35% of all posts in the service under the state (except Forest Department) in favor of women at the stage of direct recruitment, and the said reservation shall be horizontal and compartment-wise.” This announcement is not only notable for its commitment to gender equality but also for introducing the novel concepts of “horizontal” and “compartment-wise” reservations.

Horizontal reservation is a concept designed to provide equal opportunities to various beneficiary categories, including women, veterans, the transgender community, and individuals with disabilities, across different segments or compartments of government job positions. This ensures that these categories have a fair and equitable chance to secure employment, transcending traditional vertical categorizations. Such an approach aligns seamlessly with the constitutional principle of equal opportunity, exemplified by Article 15(3) of the Constitution.

“Compartment-wise” refers to a strategy that segments or categorizes different aspects or components of a program separately, each with its unique set of rules, objectives, or criteria. In the context of Madhya Pradesh’s novel policy, “compartment-wise” reservation implies that the 35% quota for women will be applied in a manner that separately considers different departments or sectors. This ensures that women have access to a diverse range of government job opportunities.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan made this historic announcement, revealing that 35% of job vacancies in the police force and other government positions will be exclusively reserved for women. Furthermore, an impressive 50% of teaching positions will be reserved for women, underlining the government’s unwavering commitment to gender balance and the empowerment of women in the education sector.

In a parallel effort, Chief Minister Chouhan expedited the disbursement of financial assistance to beneficiaries under the “Ladli Bahna Yojana,” a flagship welfare program for women. Under this scheme, eligible beneficiaries receive ₹1,250 per month from the state government.

This decision closely follows the passage of the ‘Women’s Reservation Bill’ in Parliament, receiving the assent of President Droupadi Murmu. The ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhniyam,’ mandating 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies, was unanimously passed, marking it as the first bill enacted in the new Parliament building.

As Madhya Pradesh prepares to elect legislators from its 230 assembly constituencies, these progressive measures underscore the state’s commitment to ensuring equal opportunities and representation for women in government employment. It sets a significant precedent for gender equality in India, emphasizing the importance of empowering women and fostering inclusive growth.