OBCs Current Affairs - 2019
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The government of Madhya Pradesh has announced the increase of the reservation quotas for the OBCs and has stated that it would also implement 10 per cent quota for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) under the general category.
The government has proposed to increase the reservation for OBCs from the current 14% to 27%. Madhya Pradesh already has 36% reservation for scheduled castes and tribes. The increase in the reservation for OBCs and 10% reservation for EWS will take the reservation in the state to 73%.
Since the reservations, breaches the 50 per cent cap set by the Supreme Court in the Indra Sawhney case judgement, the proposed reservation module is said to be legally untenable.
Even though states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh have reservations breaching the cap of 50% they were implemented well before the Indra Sawhney case judgement. Earlier states like Rajasthan and Maharashtra had announced reservations exceeding 50 per cent but they couldn’t implement it.
Even the 10 per cent quota for EWS proposed by the Central government already questioned in Supreme Court, the decision of the Madhya Pradesh government is bound to face legal challenges.
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.
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 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.
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.