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Sub-categorisation of OBCs

  • 03 Sep 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

A commission headed by Justice (Retd.) G Rohini has been examining sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBC) for almost three years now.

Key Points

  • Sub-categorisation of OBCs:
    • OBCs are granted 27% reservation in jobs and education under the central government but only a few affluent communities among the over 2,600 included in the Central List of OBCs have secured a major part of this.
    • Sub-categorisation or creating categories within OBCs for reservation would ensure “equitable distribution” of representation among all OBC communities.
    • However, sub-categorisation can be used to appease one vote-bank or the other within the category and thus a cause of social justice would end up being politicised.
    • The commission requested for an appropriate budget provision for a proposed all-India survey for an estimate of the caste-wise population of OBCs.
      • The reason given was the absence of data for the population of various communities to compare with their representation in jobs and admissions as the data of the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) were not considered reliable.
      • In August 2018, it was announced that the data of OBCs will also be collected in Census 2021 but there have been no other announcements after that.
  • Commission:
    • It took charge in October 2017 with a tenure of 12 weeks ending in January 2018. In June 2020, the Cabinet approved a six-month extension to the commission up to 31st January 2021.
    • Progress: It is ready with the draft report and would have huge political consequences and is likely to face a judicial review as well.
    • Budget: Until November 2019, the government has spent over Rs. 1.70 crore on the Commission including salary and other expenses.
  • Commission’s Terms of References:
    • To examine the uneven distribution of reservation benefits among different castes in the central OBC list.
    • To work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such OBCs.
    • To take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes/communities/sub-castes/synonyms for comprehensive data coverage.
    • To study and recommend correction of any repetitions, ambiguities, inconsistencies and errors of spelling or transcription.
  • Findings So Far:
    • According to the 2018 data analysis of 1.3 lakh central jobs and admissions to central higher education institutions given under OBC quota:
      • 24.95% of these jobs and seats have gone to just 10 OBC communities.
      • 97% of all jobs and educational seats have gone to just 25% of all sub-castes classified as OBCs.
      • 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.
    • According to the 2018-19 annual report of the Department of Personnel and Training, OBC recruitment in central jobs is considerably low.
      • For example, there was not a single professor and associate professor appointed under the OBC quota in central universities.
      • Posts reserved for them were being filled by people of general category as OBC candidates were declared ‘None Found Suitable’ (NFS).

Source: IE

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