Minority Issues – SC, ST, Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc.

[pib] Commission for Sub-categorization within OBCs gets another extension


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Article 340

Mains level: Subcategorization within OBCs

The Union Cabinet has approved of the term of the Commission constituted under Article 340 of the Constitution to examine the issue of Sub-categorization within Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the Central List.

What is the Sub-categorization of OBCs?

  • OBCs are granted 27% reservation in jobs and education under the central government.
  • In September 20202, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court reopened the legal debate on the sub-categorization of SCs and STs for reservations.
  • The debate arises out of the perception that only a few affluent communities among over 2,600 included in the Central List of OBCs have secured a major part of this 27% reservation.

Need for sub-categorization

  • The argument for sub-categorization — or creating categories within OBCs for reservation — is that it would ensure “equitable distribution” of representation among all OBC communities.
  • To examine this, the Rohini Commission was constituted on October 2, 2017.
  • At that time, it was given 12 weeks to submit its report but has been given several extensions since, the latest one being the 10th.
  • Before the Rohini Commission was set up, the Centre had granted constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

Why so many extensions are being given?

  • In process of preparing the sub-categorized central list of OBCs, the Commission has noted several ambiguities in the list as it stands now.
  • The Commission is of the opinion that these have to be clarified/rectified before the sub-categorised central list is prepared.
  • A hurdle for the Commission has been the absence of data for the population of various communities to compare with their representation in jobs and admissions.
  • Many groups of OBCs have been demanding enumeration of OBCs in the Census.

Back2Basics: Article 340

  • Article 340 of the Indian Constitution lays down conditions for the appointment of a Commission to investigate the conditions of the backward classes.
  • The President may by order appoint a Commission consisting of such persons as he thinks fit to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes within the territory of India.

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