The National Commission for Backward Classes has recommended that the income criterion for OBC creamy layer exclusion be increased to Rs 4.5 lakh per annum.
However, the Ministry and the Commission preferred to keep the recommendation under wraps. It is now up to the Centre to take the final call on the electorally sensitive issue.
The previous ceiling was Rs 2.5 lakh per annum. The revision means many more people will be able to avail of the quota benefits. The quota will now apply to admission in educational institutions and not just to government jobs. But the revision runs the risk of preventing benefits from going to the most deserving.
Sociologist SS Jodhka said: “The revision is necessary in view of the extension of quotas to admissions in institutions like IITs and IIMs. Mandal II can be successful only with an increase in the income level for creamy layer exclusion, as admission to IIMs and IITs generally calls for a certain kind of family background.”
While children of senior government servants fall within the creamy layer, those of organised private sector employees whose annual income can be easily detected are excluded from quota benefits if their income falls above the prescribed level.