Union Cabinet has approved extension of term of Commission to examine the issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Central List till November 2018. This is third extension granted to commission for submission of its politically crucial report on creating quotas within quotas.
The five member Commission was constituted under article 340 of Constitution in October, 2017 with approval of President. It is headed by former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice (Retd) G. Rohini. Its report was to be submitted within three months (i.e. by January 2018). But since then, it has sought and was granted extensions twice citing voluminous nature of its task.
The commission has been formed under Article 340 of the Constitution which was also used to establish landmark Mandal Commission (set up in 1979) more than two decades ago which recommended 27% reservation for socially and educationally backward classes in higher education and government jobs. Over the years, benefits of this reservation was mostly cornered mostly by dominant OBC groups. The sub-categorisation commission’s report is expected to recommend earmarking sub-quotas for the extremely backward classes within the OBCs.
Even National Commission for Backward Classes had in 2015 had noted that unequals cannot be treated equally and recommended that OBCs be categorised into extremely backward classes, more backward classes and backward classes. At present, 11 states have sub-categorised OBCs for their state services. Centre based on devise a similar methodology for the central OBC list
Mandate of Commission
The Sub-categorisation commission was tasked to examine extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among castes included in broad category of OBC in central government jobs and educational institutions especially with reference to OBCs included in 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 is mandated was to work out mechanism, norms, criteria and parameters, in scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs.