OBC list to be sub-categorised
In a move that could have a far-reaching political and social impact, the Union Cabinet approved a proposal to set up a commission which will examine the issue of sub-categorisation of the Other Backward Classes (OBC). The committee will work on a tight schedule and have to deliver the report in 12 weeks.
The National Commission for Backward Classes had recommended sub-categorization of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) in 2011 and a standing committee too had repeated this. Already 11 States, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand and West Bengal have such a categorization in state government jobs.
Some castes will suffer a few cuts, but ultimately it will facilitate better distribution of benefits.
The committee has a three-point mandate:
- One, it has to examine the “extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation” among various castes and communities that come under the Central OBC list
- The committee also has to work out the mechanism, criteria and parameters for the actual sub-categorization. The actual reservation will continue to be 27% and within this the committee will have to do the re-arranging
- The third task is bringing order to the Central list of OBCs by removing any repetitions
The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017:
- The Constitutional amendment bill seeks to grant constitutional status to the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC), at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
- Current role of National Commission for Scheduled Castes: The Constitution empowers the NCSC to look into complaints and welfare measures with regard to Scheduled Castes, backward classes and Anglo-Indians. The power of the NCSC to examine matters related to backward classes is what the bill seeks to remove
- Constitutional status to NCBC: At present, NCBC is a body set up under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 and has power to examine complaints regarding inclusion or exclusion of groups and advise the central government in this regard. The Bill seeks to grant constitutional status to NCBC with the authority to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes
- The President may specify the socially and educationally backward classes in various states and union territories, under the provisions of the bill. He may do so in consultation with the governor of the concerned state. However, the list of backward classes can be amended only through a law of Parliament