No minimum educational qualification for civic polls; Rajasthan cabinet approves amendment

Jaipur | The Rajasthan cabinet on Thursday approved two amendments bills to do away with the condition of minimum educational qualification for contesting local body elections.The Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2019, and the Rajasthan Municipalities (Amendment) Bill, 2019, will be introduced in the Assembly during the present session, a statement said.

The education criteria was introduced by the previous Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in 2015. It requires a candidate to pass Class 10 for contesting municipal, zila parishad or panchayat samiti elections. A candidate contesting for the post of a sarpanch is required to have passed Class 8 or Class 5 in tribal-reserved areas. The cabinet also decided to ask the state public service commission to extend the date of the RAS main examination.

In a meeting held at the chief minister’s residence, it was also decided that the examinations should be conducted in time and in an organised manner in future. All hurdles should be removed in a systematic manner to ensure aspirants are not affected, a government statement said. The decision came in wake of the agitation by the Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) aspirants, demanding the government to extend the exam.

State cabinet minister Parsadi Lal Meena told reporters that many issues, including key legislations like farm-loan waiver and removing educational norms in local body and panchayat elections, were discussed in the meeting.

Party leaders said the cabinet also discussed issues related to water, electricity and schemes for the unemployed youths. However, the issue of 10-per cent reservation for “economically weaker” section in the general category was not discussed in this meeting, they said.

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