The Veerappa Moily committee has suggested that reservations for other backward classes (OBCs) in institutions of higher and technical education be implemented in a phased manner from the next academic session.
The Oversight Committee, in its interim report presented to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, is understood to have given indications suggesting that the implementation be carried out in a phased manner in view of certain issues and constraints expressed by educational institutions through the five sub-groups.
However, Moily's recommendation is at variance with the statements of union Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh, who has been insistent that the quotas should be implemented in one go.
The committee has also suggested that the cut-offs for admission should be somewhere between those for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes category and the general category so that reservation does not compromise the quality of education.
The committee has also recommended that the implementation of the quotas in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) should be left to their discretion.
IIM Bangalore recently said that the OBC quota increase will require at least three years for implementation as well as central assistance through increased funding.
These institutes would also be free to decide their own cut-offs, the committee has suggested, "so that the level of excellence is not compromised".
The new reservation process will cover all central and elite institutions like IITs and IIMs and are to be accompanied with a 54 percent expansion in seats in order to ensure 27 percent quota for OBCs.
Besides recommending a liberal financial package for the expansion plan, the committee is also understood to have suggested liberalising the retirement age of faculty, re-employment of retired faculty, flexibility to decide upon the compensation package of faculty, more shifts to hold classes and more scholars.
The committee is expected to define a creamy layer and a time frame for implementation of quotas in its final report, which is to be submitted by Aug 31.
The Government has already made it clear that the bill would be introduced during the current session of parliament and draft legislation is already under preparation.
The new reservation plan, once implemented, will take the total reservations to 49.5 percent. This had triggered countrywide protests from resident doctors, as well as students of engineering, management and other colleges from across the country with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) being the epicentre of the agitation.