Government issues notice abolishing quotas for top jobs amid fresh protests

The Ministry of Public Administration has issued a notice abolishing quotas for class I and II government jobs in line with the cabinet’s decision, amid a fresh demand for the 30 percent quota earlier reserved for the descendants of freedom fighters. “From now on, the recruitment will be on merit,” the ministry said in the notice. Children and grandchildren of freedom fighters have occupied the Shahbagh square for two days demanding the restoration of the system. Protests stalled traffic in and around the area.

The quotas will remain unchanged for the class III and IV employees, according to the notice.

The government has amended the quota system for direct recruitment to all government departments, autonomous, semi-autonomous organisations and various corporations.

The previous rules allowed the government to preserve 56 percent posts under different quotas: 30 percent for families of freedom fighters, 10 percent for women, 10 percent for disadvantaged districts, 5 percent for small ethnic groups and 1 percent for people with disabilities.

The amendment to the system came in the wake of a months-long campaign that led to the arrests of protest leaders and activists.

A group of protesters demanded a reduction in the quotas to 10 percent and wanted merit-based appointments if people eligible for quotas are unavailable.

Following its demand, the government formed a committee to review the quota system and the panel recommended abolishing quotas in class I and II, two top tiers in government jobs.

In line with the panels recommendations, the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina accepted the recommendations on Wednesday.

Hours after the cabinet decision on the abolishment of quotas in top government jobs, descendants of freedom fighters blocked Dhakas Shahbagh, demanding the revival of a 30 percent quota earlier reserved for them.

Two groups of freedom fighters descendants continued to flock to the key intersection for the second day, disrupting traffic.

Traffic came to a complete halt from Karwan Bazar to Shahbagh and Elephant Road to Shahbagh on Thursday.


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