President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed five-member commission to examine sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). It will be headed by retired Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G. Rohini.
Besides, Dr J K Bajaj, Director, Anthropological Survey of India, Registrar General and Census Commissioner and Joint Secretary from Ministry of Social Justice will be ex-officio members of commission.
The commission has been established under Article 340 of Constitution under which Mandal commission had recommended 27% reservation for socially and educationally backward classes, was appointed.
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.
Commission’s Terms of reference
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 of India 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.