President Kovind appoints a commission for sub-categorisation of OBCs

President Kovind appoints a commission for sub-categorisation of OBCs
President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday appointed a commission under former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G Rohini to examine subcategorization of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

“This decision, taken on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, reinforces, in the spirit of his teachings, the Government's efforts to achieve greater social justice and inclusion for all and specifical members of the OBC,” the Government said in a statement.

The move comes ahead of the Assembly polls in Gujarat, amid demand for giving reservation benefits to Marathas in Maharashtra, Jats in Haryana and Patidars in Gujarat.

“The Commission is required to present their report to the President within a period of twelve weeks of assumption of charge by the Chairperson of the Commission,” the Government said.

Union Cabinet approved a proposal for constitution of the commission on August 23. The stratification of the OBC quota could lead to a quota within quota in OBC reservations, in a move that may have far-reaching impact in national politics. This could affect educationally and socially advanced communities within the backward classes like Yadavas who have benefited from the policy of positive discrimination brought by the Mandal Commission recommendation over the past three decades, official sources said.

As per terms of reference, the five-member commission will examine “the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation” among the castes or communities included in the broad category of the Other Backward Classes with reference to such classes included in the Central List.

It will also work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters “in a scientific approach” for sub-categorisation within such OBCs and take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of the OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.

“Subcategorization 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,” the Government said over a month.

On receipt of the report of the Commission, the Central Government will consider “ways and means” for equitable distribution of the benefits of the reservation in Central Government jobs and admission in the Central Government run educational institutions “amongst all strata of the OBC.”

The five-member commission comprised social scientist JK Bajaj as its member. While a joint secretary level officer of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will serve as the secretary of the commission, the director of the Anthropological Survey of India and Registrar General and Census Commissioner will be ex-officio members of the panel.

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