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Quota backlog behind creamy layer review

According to data for the 1st year of admissions in IITs and IIMs, over 90 pc of the short-listed OBC candidates failed to prove that they did not belong to creamy layer, reports Chetan Chauhan.

delhi Updated: Jun 22, 2008 01:53 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Non-fulfillment of OBC quota for the first year of admissions in IITs and IIMs because over 90 per cent were of backward students falling in the ambit of creamy layer could be a possible reason for increasing the annual income limit for defining creamy layer in a bid to fill the seats for the backward classes in coming years.

On the basis of the Supreme Court ruling, the Central government had stipulated Rs 2.5 lakh annual income criteria to define creamy layer for admissions in the institutes of higher learning.

From the admission data emerging from IITs and IIMs, over 90 per cent of the short-listed candidates failed to prove they did not belong to creamy layer.

It meant that of nine per cent seats reserved for OBCs in IITs only 7.5 could be filled. Of the 8,650 candidates called for counselling admissions on basis of JEE result only 654 were selected after it was found that 92 per cent fell in the ambit of creamy layer.

In all, 3.11 lakh students, including 72,000 from OBCs appeared to fill 6872 seats in IITs.

In the case of IIMs, where only four to six per cent seats were reserved for OBCs, about two per cent could be filled because of absence of OBC candidates fulfilling the criteria defined by the HRD ministry. IIMs had been claiming that 15 per cent seats reserved for SC students remains because not enough SC students are available.

Hence, students from general category fulfill vacant seats meant for reserved category.

The data is just an indication of what is in store for the coming years when the number of seats reserved for OBCs will increase. In IITs, there will be nine per cent per annum increase in OBC quota in the next two years for 27 per cent reservation, as mandated by the Central law, by 2010. Similarly, the quotas in IIMs will increase in the next two years.

But, the answer to the question on how premier institutes of higher learning would fill the quota lies in the deliberations of National Commission of Backward Classes on creamy layer. There was a unanimous view at the panel’s national convention recently that the annual income bar should be raised to Rs 4-5 lakh for defining creamy layer, meaning that OBCs with monthly income of Rs 40,000 would be eligible to get quota benefit.

The commission is expected to submit its report on re-defining creamy layer for jobs and admissions by end of June.

The government may take an early decision on the commission's recommendation to claim electoral benefits before the next general elections slated for next year.