Why in the news?
- The Supreme Court in the last week of August gave consent on the sub-categorisation of SC and ST list to make the benefits reach the poorest of the poor and also referred it to a larger constitutional bench.
- In this angle, we shall discuss the progress of OBC sub-categorisation which has started 3 years before.
What was the issue with OBC reservation?
- The Other Backward Classes (OBC) communities are given 27% reservation by the Central Government for education and employment.
- Presently there are more than 2600 communities in the list. But the major part of the reservation is reaped by only a few affluent communities under the list, hence a committee was set up for the sub-categorisation.
Commission for Sub-Categorisation of OBCs
- The 4-member commission was set up in 2017 under Article 340 to examine the issues of the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes. It was set up for the period of 12 weeks but has been extended till January 2021. It is headed by former Delhi High Court Chief Justice G Rohini.
- There were 3 objectives initially but later another one was added to refine the sub-categorisation.
- 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; and
- 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.
- To study the various entries in the Central List of OBCs and recommend correction of any repetitions, ambiguities, inconsistencies and errors of spelling or transcription.
What are some findings of the commission?
- 97% of all jobs and educational seats have gone to just 25% of all sub-castes classified as OBCs;
- 24.95% 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.
What is the present status of the commission?
- The committee is ready with a draft list of the sub-categorisation but it was withheld as it can build a political turmoil. There is an attempt for estimating the population of OBC communities which is said to be fulfilled through the upcoming census. The sub-categorised list may be published further with correction after the census.