Delhi government on Monday increased reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions to 27 % from current 21 % from academic year 2012-13 but also decided to enhance the total number of seats by 12 % so that general category students do not suffer.
The decision to comply with central law of reserving 27 % seats for OBCs is seen as an effort by the Congress government to woo the OBCs before the MCD polls slated to be held next month.
Chief minister Sheila Dikshit, announcing the decision of a cabinet meeting, said number of seats for general category and scheduled caste students will remain as it is as total number of seats will be increased by 12 %.
"The number of seats for each discipline would be increased by 12 % to ensure that the seats available for the general candidates are not reduced," Dikshit said.
With this increase, the total reservation of seats in higher education institutions for SCs, STs and OBCs will go up to 49.5 %. The SCs have 15 % reservation while the STs have 7.5 %.
Justifying the decision, Dikshit said it will go a long way in imparting higher and technical education to large number of students belonging to weaker sections.
"It is aimed at providing more educational opportunities to the weaker section which will result in more educational opportunites for them," she said.
The Delhi Governmet had reserved five % seats for OBCs for academic year 2009-10 which was increased to 15 % for the 2010-11 and 21 % for academic year 2011-12.
The government had decided to implement 27 % reservation for OBCs in a staggered manner so that required infrastructure could be developed to ensure that seats for general category students remain same while increasing the overall number of seats.
The decision is seen as government's effort to woo the OBCs ahead of the municipal corporation polls scheduled to be held later next month.
Following the decision, the reserved seats for OBCs will increase in Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi Technical University, National Law University and BR Ambedkar University, Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology and all other government run technical institutions.
Officials said private self financed institutes affiliated to the state universities will also have to reserve 27 % of the seats for OBCs.
The reservation of 27 % seats for OBCs has already been implemented in all central educational institutions in the city like Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru university.