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Sub-Categorization Of OBC

Sub-Categorization Of OBC

Why in news?

  • On January 21, the Centre has extended the tenure of The Commission to Examine Sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) headed by Justice G Rohini, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court.
  • The commission now has until July 31 to submit its report.

About The Commission

  • The Commission was constituted under Article 340 of the Constitution in 2017 under the chairmanship of Justice (Retd.) Smt. G. Rohini.
  • The Commission has since interacted with all the States/UTs which have subcategorized OBCs, and the State Backward Classes Commissions.
  • The expenditure related to the establishment and administration costs of the Commission is borne by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • Commission recommendations:
    • The commission to examine sub-categorization of OBCs is all set to recommend a fixed quota.
    • It is possibly between 8 and 10 per cent of the 27 per cent OBC quota for about 1,900 of the 2,633 castes on the central list.
    • This is the first government-mandated exercise to quantify the skewed flow of benefits among different OBC communities and suggest steps to correct the imbalance.

What are OBC?

  • Other Backward Class (OBC) is a common classification of castes used by the Government of India which are socially or educationally disadvantaged.
  • As per Mandal Commission report of 1980, OBC’s constituted 52% of the country’s population.
  • As per National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) 2006 report, the OBC’s comprised 41% of the population.


What is OBC sub-categorization?

  • OBCs are granted 27% reservation in jobs and education under the central government.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The argument for sub-categorisation — or creating categories within OBCs for reservation — is that it would ensure “equitable distribution” of representation among all OBC communities.
  • To examine this, the Rohini Commission was constituted on October 2, 2017.

Need For Sub- Categorization

  • Sub categorization of the OBCs will ensure that the more backward among the OBC communities can also access the benefits of reservation for educational institutions and government jobs.
  • At present, there is no sub-categorisation and 27% reservation is a monolithic entity.   (Sub-Categorization Of OBC )
  • 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.

Some facts

  • According to the 2018 data analysis of 1.3 lakh central jobs and admissions to central higher education institutions given under OBC quota:
    • 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).States that have Implemented Sub Categorization of OBC at State Level 

      11 states/UT have implemented sub categorization of OBC. The list of states are given below.

      1. West Bengal
      2. Tamil Nadu
      3. Andhra Pradesh
      4. Maharashtra
      5. Karnataka
      6. Jharkhand
      7. Bihar
      8. Telangana
      9. Haryana
      10. Puducherry
      11. Jammu and Kashmir

      Background | Sub-Categorization Of OBC

      • The Kalelkar Commission, set up in 1953, was the first to identify backward classes other than the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) at the national level.
      • The Mandal Commission Report, 1980 estimated the OBC population at 52% and classified 1,257 communities as backward.
      • It recommended increasing the existing quotas, which were only for SC/ST, from 22.5% to 49.5% to include the OBCs.
      • The central government reserved 27% of seats in union civil posts and services for OBCs [Article 16(4)]. The quotas were subsequently enforced in central government educational institutions [Article 15 (4)].
      • In 2008, the Supreme Court directed the central government to exclude the creamy layer (advanced sections) among the OBCs.
      • The 102nd Constitution Amendment Act, 2018 provided constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), which was previously a statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.    (Sub-Categorization Of OBC )


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