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The cabinet has accepted recommendations for abolishing quotas for class I and II government jobs, in a much-awaited decision expected to calm student protests. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Secretariat on Wednesday. Earlier, a high-power government committee recommended abolishing the quota system for class I and class II jobs. The development came in the wake of a months-long campaign that led to the arrests of protest leaders and activists. - A home for your website

“The committees report was presented at the cabinet meeting. There were three recommendations — merit-based recruitment in the class I and II government jobs, quota abolishment and making appropriate decisions about the existing population due to the cancellation of quotas," Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told reporters after the meeting.

The cabinet has approved the three recommendations of the committee, he said. "If the quota for the disadvantaged community is required, the government can decide on it.”

However, the quota will remain for the class III and IV employees, Alam said.

A formal notice will follow in two to three days.

“We will relay the cabinets decision to the Ministry of Public Administration today or tomorrow. Hopefully, a notice will be issued in two to three days.”

The quota review committee headed by the cabinet secretary submitted the recommendations to the prime minister on Sept 17. Following the approval from the prime minister, the cabinet accepted the panels recommendations.

According to the existing rules, the quota system allows the government to preserve 56 percent posts in jobs 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.

Students and jobseekers have been protesting against the system, demanding that the total jobs preserved for different quotas be brought down to 10 percent.

When the quota reform protests peaked, Hasina told parliament on Apr 11 that she would rather see the system go. Later, she said that 30 percent of quota will remain as per the directive of the High Court.

Later, the government formed the quota review committee on June 2 to reform the system.