Panel for quota to upper caste poor | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Panel for quota to upper caste poor

A government panel has recommended that the general category poor - mainly comprising the upper castes - be given quotas in government jobs and education, it is reliably learnt.

delhi Updated: Jul 24, 2010 01:05 IST

A government panel has recommended that the general category poor - mainly comprising the upper castes - be given quotas in government jobs and education, it is reliably learnt.

For this, it has also recommended a constitutional amendment to breach the Supreme Court's 50 per cent cap on quotas.

The Commission for Economically Backward Classes, headed by Major general (retd.) S.R. Sinho, submitted its report to Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik on Thursday.

Till now, reservation has been linked to caste — 15 per cent for scheduled castes and 27 per cent for other backward classes defined in caste terms at the central level—and tribal status (7.5 per cent ST quota in central jobs and higher education).

Implementation of the commission's recommendation, if it does come about, will be subject to judicial review.

A recent observation by the apex court, however, has just opened a window for such a step: it asked Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to cite data as to why the 50 per cent ceiling had been breached for SC, ST and OBC reservations.

The EBC Commission report says that non-income tax payee general category people are economically backward, and has put their tentative number at 6 crores. They should be treated like OBCs, it has held.

The Commission has recommended that EBC children be made eligible for soft loans for higher education, scholarships, coaching for central and state civil services examinations, subsidized health facilities, and government help in housing sector in the form soft loans with lower rates of interest.

It has suggested development of skills and vocational training for the EBCs so that they can earn their livelihood, and recommended the setting up of a National Commission for providing financial assistances to EBCs.

The government constituted the Commission in 2006. It had been asked to suggest criteria for identifying EBCs, recommend welfare measures and reservations for them, and to suggest constitutional and legal ways for their implementation.