President Kovind appoints panel to examine sub-categorisation of OBCs | india news | Hindustan Times
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President Kovind appoints panel to examine sub-categorisation of OBCs

The move to assess sub-categorisation is perceived as a political move ahead of the next round of state elections.

india Updated: Oct 02, 2017 23:44 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
President Ramnath Kovind,OBCs,Sub-categorisation of OBCs
President Ram Nath Kovind (PTI Photo)

President Ramnath Kovind on Monday appointed a new panel to examine the sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) for a “more equitable distribution” of quota benefits.

To be headed by former justice G Rohini, the panel includes Dr JK Bajaj of the Centre for Policy Studies as a member; director of the Anthropological Survey of India and Registrar General and Census Commissioner as ex-officio members; and a joint secretary in the ministry of social justice and empowerment as secretary of the Commission.

The decision to appoint the panel was cleared by the Union cabinet in August.

The panel, which has to submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of its appointment, has the mandate to examine the extent of inequitable distribution of reservation benefits among castes and communities and work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for the sub-categorisation within such OBCs. It will also take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.

The move to assess sub-categorisation is perceived as a political move ahead of the next round of state elections, including those for Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan.

Even as the government on its part asserts that the exercise “reinforces its efforts to achieve greater social justice and inclusion for all”, the move is expected to lead to political realignments in states, to bring together a coalition of non-dominant castes among OBCs to upstage regional leaders from dominant caste groups such as Yadavs in the Hindi heartland and Jats in Rajasthan.

The now-scrapped National Commission for Backward Classes in 2015 had recommended three categories for OBCs — extremely backward classes, more backward classes, and backward classes.

It proposed a division of the 27% quota for the OBCs according to the population and the degree of backwardness.