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Govt rushes to roll out quota from next session

The Govt has made its intention clear to implement the 27% OBC reservation from the next academic year, reports Chetan Chauhan.
Hindustan Times | By Chetan Chauhan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 16, 2008 01:59 AM IST

The government has made its intention clear to implement the 27 per cent OBC reservation from the next academic year (2008-09), with the HRD Ministry circulating a Cabinet note to exclude creamy layer from the ambit of the law.

In the note it has sought permission to amend the Central Education Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2007 to ensure the creamy layer does not benefit from the reservation.

HRD Minister Arjun Singh has urged ministries to give their comments fast so that reservation can be implemented. “At least the quantum of reservation suggested by the Moily Committee for the first year would be implemented,” said an official.

The view is firmly endorsed in Singh’s letter to his Cabinet colleagues stressing on the paucity of time to implement the revised law from the next academic year.

His ministry wants to discuss the amendment proposal in next week’s Cabinet meeting so that an amendment bill can be introduced in the ongoing budget session.

“Most Central educational institutions initiate their admission process in May. Before that happens, we want to complete the formalities to implement OBC reservation as per Supreme Court orders,” said a ministry official.

The Social Justice Ministry has said the present policy on creamy layer would apply for admissions in institutions of higher learning.

Some UPA allies like the PMK had asked the government to increase annual income criteria of Rs 2.5 lakh to define creamy layer so that a larger number of backwards could benefit.

Singh was favourable to the idea considering it essential to fill the quota. But the government wants more time to meet such a demand.

Social Justice Minister Meira Kumar said the National Commission for Backward Classes has been asked to examine the issue and review the OBC list. “Till then, the present rule on creamy layer will apply.”

This means the Rs 2.5 lakh criteria plus other conditions in the government’s 2004 notification on the issue would apply for admissions in the 27 OBC quota from the next academic year.

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