The state government made provisions to offer reservation in private-sector jobs to locals nearly a year ago, but they have been ineffective because of technical and legal challenges and a lack of mechanism to check if recruitments are happening. Its attempts to ensure domicile reservation for students at top institutions in the state have also faltered. On Tuesday, the Karnataka high court, in an interim order, stayed 25 per cent domicile reservation for students at the National Law School of India University.

The job quota issue has assumed relevance because unemployment levels in Karnataka are up following the economic disruptions caused by Covid-19. A survey conducted by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said unemployment in Karnataka was greater than the national rate of 23.5 per cent earlier this year. In April, it rose to 29.8 per cent. “This must have increased by 2-3 per cent now, considering that many have lost jobs since April,” said a senior official of the labour department.