OBCs Current Affairs

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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Cabinet approves commission on sub-categorisation of OBCs

The Union Cabinet approved a proposal for setting up of Commission under article 340 of the Constitution to examine the issue of sub-categorization of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

The Commission shall be known as the Commission to examine the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). It will submit its report within 12 weeks from date of appointment of the Chairperson.

Terms of references of Commission

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

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 backward classes as backward or more backward. It had also observed that it is not impermissible in law if a State chooses to do sub-categorization. So far, 9 states/UTs viz., Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana, Jharkhand, Telangana, Puducherry, Wst Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have already carried out sub-categorization of OBCs. There is no sub categorisation in the central list.

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