The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), in its advice to the Central government, has rejected the request for inclusion of Jats in the Central lists of other backward classes (OBC) for Haryana, national capital territory (NCT) of Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Bharatpur and Dholpur districts of Rajasthan. Keeping an eye on the general elections, the union cabinet, however, overrode the NCBC advice in granting OBC status to Jats.
NCBC member secretary AK Mangotra told HT that the commission had rejected the proposal after examining it since they are not a socially and economically backward community. According to the Section 9(2) of the NCBC Act, the advice of the commission shall ordinarily be binding upon the Central government.
Our examination of various reports, material, books and oral submissions leaves no manner of doubt that Jats as a class cannot be treated as backward class, the NCBC findings said.
"Ethnically they are at a higher level; they are of Indo Aryan descent, their educational level is high and the social status they command is far higher than the ordinary shudras. In the absence of social and educational backwardness coupled with inadequacy of representation in the services, Articles 15 (4) and 16 (4) of the Constitution do not apply for the purpose of treating Jats as a backward class,"' the NCBC advice said.
It said that the NCBC is of the unanimous opinion that the Jat caste has not fulfilled the criteria and the methodology for inclusion in the Central list of OBCs determining with regard to social and educational backwardness.
In 1997, the NCBC had rejected the demand for including Jats from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in the OBC list. Only Jats from Rajasthan except those from Bharatpur and Dholpur districts were included in the OBC list in 1997. Later in 2001, the NCBC also rejected the demand for inclusion of Jats from the NCT of Delhi in the OBC list.
The commission was asked by the Central government to review its previous decision regarding inclusion of Jats from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and NCT of Delhi after the NCBC was armed with review powers in 2011. It considered the case of Bihar, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh afresh.