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Quota reformists for reform, not abolition

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08th-Oct-2018       
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Rayhanul Islam :
Bangladesh General Students' Rights Protection Council (BGSRPC), a platform that has been spearheading the quota reform movement,  on Sunday demanded reformation, instead of abolition of the existing quota system.
They voiced the demand in a press conference in front of the Central Library in Dhaka University (DU).
On October 4, the Ministry of Public Administration issued a circular, which said recruitment for first (ninth grade) and second class (10th-13th grade) government jobs will be on a merit basis and the existing quota system has been scrapped. The decision would be made effective immediately, it said.
Earlier on April 11, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced scrapping the quota system, amid protests by general students for reform of the quota system in government jobs that started across the country from mid-January.
The government's decision to scrap the quota system was met with controversy from some other quarters.
Several protests were organized demanding for the reinstatement of 30% quota for freedom fighters, during the few days after the circular was issued on October 4.
In Sunday's press conference, Joint Convener of BGSRPC Faruk Hasan said: "We have accepted the government's decisions regarding the quota system positively.
"However, not everyone was happy with the issuance of the circular that abolished the quota system," he said. "The government has to take responsibility for those quarters."
Faruk upheld the five-point demands made by BGSRPC, and demanded withdrawal of the cases against the protesters who have been arrested until now. He also asked that the attackers be brought to book.
Joint Convener of the platform Nurul Haque Nur said: "We can call it a partial gazette notification which has published by the government few days ago regarding quota abolishment in first and second class jobs. We are demanding the reformation in third and fourth class as well."
 "A logical amount of quota must be reserved for those who are in backward position including women and ethnic minorities. The freedom fighters of poor economic condition should also be privileged financially."
In response with the remarks of cabinet secretary regarding reinstatement (Cabinet Secretary: Quota system may be reinstated if necessary- according to Nur) of quota system, Nur said: "It is a farce to us. If government wants to bring back the system then it should be reinstated in line with our five points of demand."
While reading out a written statement Convener of the movement Hasan Al Mamun said: "Special recruitment in government jobs will not be accepted by the general students. The remaining quota in third and fourth class jobs should also be reformed."

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