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Sub-categorisation of OBCs

  • Published
    7th Jul, 2022
Context

The Union Cabinet gave the 13th extension to the Justice Rohini Commission, giving it time until January 31, 2023 to submit its report.

About

About the Commission:

  • The Commission was set up on October 2, 2017 under Article 340 of the Constitution.
  • It was tasked with sub-categorisation of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and equitable distribution of benefits reserved for them.
  • Its initial deadline to submit its report was 12 weeks.

The Commission’s mandate

  • to examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities included in the broad category of Other Backward Classes, with reference to such classes included in the Central List;
  • to work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such Other Backward Classes;
  • to take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of Other Backward Classes and classifying them into their respective sub-categories

Sub-categorization of OBC

  • Reservation given: OBCs are granted 27% reservation in jobs and education under the central government.
  • Supreme Court’s intervention: In September 2020, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court reopened the legal debate on sub-categorisation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for reservations.
  • Only affluent communities enjoying reservation: The debate arises out of the perception that only a few affluent communities among the over 2,600 included in the Central List of OBCs have secured a major part of this 27% reservation.

Extent of OBC recruitment in central jobs:

  • As per the report submitted to the NCBC by the Department of Personnel and Training on July 24, 2020, OBC representation is
  • 16.51 % in group-A central government services
  • 13.38 % in group-B
  • 21.25 % in group-C (excluding safai karmacharis)
  • 17.72 % in group-C (safai karmacharis).
  • This data was for only 42 ministries/departments of the central government.
  • It is reported that a number of posts reserved for OBCs were being filled by people of general category as OBC candidates were declared “NFS” (None Found Suitable). Home Minister has asked the NCBC to collect countrywide data on this and NCBC is yet to collect and process the data of the “NFS”.
  • The government is also contemplating revision of the income limit for the creamy layer for the OBCs.

What have its findings been so far?

In 2018, the Commission analysed the data of 1.3 lakh central jobs given under OBC quota over the preceding five years and OBC admissions to central higher education institutions, including universities, IITs, NITs, IIMs and AIIMS, over the preceding three years. The findings were:

  • 97% of all jobs and educational seats have gone to just 25% of all sub-castes classified as OBCs; 
  • 95% of these jobs and seats have gone to just 10 OBC communities
  • 983 OBC communities — 37% of the total — have zero representation in jobs and educational institutions; 
  • 994 OBC sub-castes have a total representation of only 2.68% in recruitment and admissions.
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