Protests within the ruling UPA against the exclusion of creamy layer will not delay quotas for OBCs, said Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh.
Singh told HT that a bill to regulate admissions and fees in private educational institutions “will be taken up” once the current “priority of implementing the SC order,” is finished. “I have not moved away from it,” Singh said. He said his ministry is interacting with central institutions to implement the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act cleared by the apex court on Thursday, after excluding the creamy layer.
He doesn’t want implementation of the quota delayed by protests over the exclusion of the creamy layer. “The issue of the creamy layer requires some consensus. But there is no point delaying the implementation of the Act as allowed by the SC,” he said. UPA allies DMK, PMK and LJP have protested against the creamy layer’s exclusion. “The comments of SC on creamy layer have to be honoured,” said Singh. He said there would be movement on regulating admissions and fees in private unaided institutions. The government had prepared a bill for this in November 2006, but it was kept in cold storage after the controversy over OBC quotas in IITs and IIMs arose.
“I hope so,” he said, when asked if the bill would be passed during the tenure of the present government. Singh said the SC judgment does not stop the private institutions bill. “Only one judge has spoken his mind on the private sector,” Singh pointed out.
Is he happy after the SC judgment? “Happiness and sorrow in politics are in a different context altogether. I am implementing the policies of the Congress party. Yes, I am happy that it is being implemented.”