Other Backwards Castes Current Affairs - 2020

Navaratnalu Pedalandariki Illu Programme: 25 lakh poor to get houses in AP

On March 31, 2020, the Government of Andhra Pradesh modified the guidelines of Navatatnalu-Pedalandariki Illu programme. The scheme is called “Houses for all the poor”. The guidelines were changed based on the directions of the High Court.

Highlights

Under the scheme, house sites are to be allotted to the poor at Re 1 to the poor with white ration cards. The State Government is to collect Rs 20 from the people (Rs 10 for stamp paper charges and Rs 10 for lamination charges).

The Beneficiaries shall use these sited to construct houses.

Other Rules

The beneficiaries have to compulsorily construct houses only. They cannot sell the sites. However, they can sell the houses after occupying them for a minimum of five years.

The site was to be distributed on Ugadi. However, it was postponed due to the threat of COVID-19 and local body elections.

Navaratnalu

The “Navartnalu” is a flagship scheme of the Andhra Pradesh Government. There are nine (Navaratna) welfare schemes.

YSR Rythu Bharosa

Under the scheme, the AP government is to offer Rs 50,000 financial assistance to farmers. From the second year of the scheme, every family will receive Rs 12,500. Apart from this under this scheme, the AP government will also offer free bore wells and 0% interest loans.

Fee Reimbursement

Under this scheme, Rs 20,000 allowance is to be provided to every student as fee reimbursement

Arogyasri

The scheme is applicable to all the medical treatments above Rs 1000. The State Government under the scheme would bear all the medical expenses.

Jalayagnam

The Government would take up completion of Polavaram project, thereby helping the farmers greatly in irrigation projects

Ban on Alcohol

Amma Vodi

Under the scheme Rs 15,000 was provided as assistance funds to all the mothers of school going children. The only condition was that the mothers should belong to Below Poverty Line.

Asara

The scheme issued 0% interest loans to backward communities, women, SC, ST of age above 45 years.

Pensionla Pempu

Senior citizens to receive Rs 2000 and the physically challenged were to receive Rs 3,000.

Census 2021 for first time to collect data on Other Backwards Castes

Union Home Ministry has announced that Census 2021 for the first time in independent India will collect data on Other Backwards Castes (OBCs). This comes more than 25 years after implementation of 27% reservation for OBCs based on Mandal Commission’s recommendations on basis of last castes data collected in 1931 census.

This decision was taken in meeting the roadmap for undertaking the Census in 2021 chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The meeting also put special emphasis on improvements in design and technological interventions to ensure that data is finalised within three years of the conduct of the 2021 Census. This census data on OBCs will play an important role in such a sub-categorisation.

Background

In 1953, President under Article 340 had set up first Backward Classes Commission under chairmanship of Kaka Kelkar to identify backward classes other than SCs and STs at the national level. But its conclusion that caste is important measure of backwardness was rejected on ground that it had failed to apply more objective criteria such as income and literacy.

Later in January 1979, second Backward Classes Commission headed by B P Mandal (famously known as Mandal Commission) was appointed by then Janata Party government under Prime Minister Morarji Desai to consider the question of reservations for people to redress caste discrimination, and used eleven social, economic, and educational indicators to determine backwardness.

The Mandal Commission report had estimated OBC population at 52% and classified 1,257 communities as backward. It also had recommended increasing existing quotas, which were only for SC/ST, from 22.5% to 49.5% to include OBCs. Its recommendations including of reservation were implemented then V.P.Singh government in 1990,

The previous UPA government (under PM Manmohan Singh) had accepted demand for caste-based enumeration and undertaken Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) in 2011. However, data from SECC-2011 conducted at cost of Rs 4,893.60 crore was not made public for certain errors identified by Registrar General of India.