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Cabinet extends term of commission on sub-categorisation of OBCs

The Union Cabinet has approved second and final extension of term of Commission constituted to examine issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes in Central List for period of twelve weeks upto June, 2018. The Commission was constituted with approval of President under article 340 of Constitution in October, 2017. It is headed by Justice (Retd.) G. Rohini.

Key Facts

The commission was tasked to examine extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among castes included in broad category of OBCs, especially with reference to OBCs included in the Central list. It was also tasked to take up exercise of identifying respective castes/sub-castes/communities synonyms in Central List of OBCs and classify them into their respective sub-categories. It mandate was to work out mechanism, norms, criteria and parameters, in scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs.

Since its inception, the commission has interacted with all States/UTs which have subcategorized OBCs and State Backward Classes Commissions. It also has requisitioned data from Higher Education Institutions regarding admission of OBCs to higher education courses as well as data regarding recruitment of OBC persons in Government jobs to assess magnitude of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among castes and communities included in Centre List of OBCs.

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Cabinet extends term of Commission to examine the issue of sub-categorization of OBCs

The Union Cabinet has approved extension of term of Commission to examine the issue of sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs), by 12 weeks i.e. upto 2 April, 2018.

The extension of tenure will enable Commission to submit a comprehensive report on issue of sub-categorization of OBCs, after consultation with various stakeholders.

Key Facts

The Commission headed by retired Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G. Rohini was constituted under Article 340 of Constitution with approval of President Ram Nath Kovind in October 2017. It was stipulated to submit its report within 12 weeks from assumption of charge by Chairperson. But it had sought extension of its term by 12 weeks, keeping in view voluminous data involved and time required for its analysis to prepare comprehensive report.

Sub-categorisation

Sub-categorisation of OBCs aims to ensure more equitable distribution of reservations in government jobs and educational institutions so that dominant groups among OBCs do not corner all benefits. The exercise will involve sub-categorisation of 5,000 castes in central OBC list.

Terms of reference of Commission

The commission will examine extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among castes included in broad category of OBCs, especially with reference to OBCs included in the Central list.

It will also take up exercise of identifying respective castes/sub-castes/communities synonyms in Central List of OBCs and classify them into their respective sub-categories. It will work out mechanism, norms, criteria and parameters, in scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs.

Background

The Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney and others vs. Union of India case (1992) had observed that there is no constitutional or legal bar on states for categorizing OBCs as backward or more backward. It had also observed that it is not impermissible in law if state chooses to do sub-categorization. So far, 9 states/UTs viz. Karnataka, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Puducherry, Telangana, Wst Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have carried out sub-categorization of OBCs. So far there was no sub categorisation in central list of OBCs.

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