Cabinet approves commission on sub-categorisation of OBCs
To create ‘quota within quota’, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the setting up of a commission to examine the matter of sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The commission has been mandated to submit is report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of the chairperson.
The commission, to be set up under Article 340 of the Constitution, will identify the respective castes/communities/sub-castes/synonyms in the Central list and classify them into sub-categories, and “examine the inequitable distribution of benefits reservation among castes and communities included in the Central list of OBCs, according to its terms of reference approved by the Cabinet, an official release said.
There was no Constitutional or legal bar to a State categorizing backward classes as backward or more backward and had further observed that if a State chooses to do it (sub-categorisation), it is not impermissible in law.
It noted that 10 States -- Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry, Karnataka, Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu – had already carried out sub-categorization of OBCs.
The NDA government’s move for sub-categorisation of OBCs is significant, as it comes ahead of Assembly polls late this year and early next year in about 10 States, such as Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Also, during the recently ended Monsoon session of Parliament, the NDA government faced a setback when the Opposition in Rajya Sabha passed an amendment and stalled the passage of a Bill to give Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes.
The Bill will now be returned to Lok Sabha, which can either accept or reject the amendment and send it back to the Rajya Sabha. A joint session could also be convened if both the Houses differ on a Bill