Sub-categorisation of OBCs Current Affairs

Cabinet extends term of commission on sub-categorisation of OBCs

The Union Cabinet has approved second and final extension of term of Commission constituted to examine issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes in Central List for period of twelve weeks upto June, 2018. The Commission was constituted with approval of President under article 340 of Constitution in October, 2017. It is headed by Justice (Retd.) G. Rohini.

Key Facts

The commission was tasked to 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 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 mandate was to work out mechanism, norms, criteria and parameters, in scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs.

Since its inception, the commission has interacted with all States/UTs which have subcategorized OBCs and State Backward Classes Commissions. It also has requisitioned data from Higher Education Institutions regarding admission of OBCs to higher education courses as well as data regarding recruitment of OBC persons in Government jobs to assess magnitude of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among castes and communities included in Centre List of OBCs.

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President appoints Commission to Examine OBC Sub-categorisation

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.

Key Facts

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.

Background

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.

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