Fifteen new castes have been included in the central list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) with the government issuing notification in this regard.
The National Commission of Backward Classes (NCBC) had recommended a total of 28 changes in respect of eight states: Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
Out of these 28, 15 castes, including Gadheri/itafarosh in Bihar, Jhora in Jharkhand and Labana in Jammu and Kashmir, were new entries, nine were synonyms or sub-castes of the castes which were already in the list and four were corrections.
“The central government has considered and accepted the aforesaid recommendations of the NCBC and recommendation of Government of Jammu and Kashmir and have decided to notify inclusion/amendment in the Central List of Other Backward Classes of the aforesaid States,” according to the notification signed by Joint Secretary B L Meena.
Last month, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had approved the proposal of NCBC. These changes in the central list will enable the persons belonging to these castes/communities to avail the benefits of reservation in government services and posts as well as in central educational institutions as per the existing policy.
They will also become eligible for benefit under various welfare schemes, scholarships, etc., being administered by the central government, which are at present available to persons belonging to Other Backward Classes, it added.
On the NCBC recommendation, a total of 2,479 entries for inclusion, including its synonyms, sub-castes, etc. in the central list of OBCs have been notified in 25 states and six Union Territories. The last such notification was issued in September, 2016.
NCBC examines requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the lists and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any backward class in such lists. Its advice is binding upon the central government.
The government is also considering relaxing the creamy layer norms.