Cabinet approval for panel to study quotas within OBC quota

 The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of a commission to examine the sub-categorisation of almost 5,000 castes in the central list of OBCs.

Fodder Points for Mains:

  • To ensure a “more equitable distribution” of reservations in central government jobs and educational institutions.

  • Under Article 340 of the Constitution, the President would be recommended to constitute a commission that would examine the central list of OBC and sub-categorise it

  • Once the chairperson of the new commission is appointed, it will have 12 weeks to submit its report

  • Its terms of reference include examining “the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits” among OBCs with reference to the Central list

  • It will also have to evolve a scientific methodology and classify the OBCs into sub-categories

    Also, this commission is being appointed according to the same Article 340 under which the Mandal commission was appointed

  • At present, AP, Telangana, Puducherry, Karnataka, Haryana, Jharkhand, WB, Bihar, Maharashtra and TN, as well as the Jammu region, have such a sub-categorisation

  • However, there is no such sub-categorisation in some of the bigger states, such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan

About Mandal Commission:

  • The Mandal Commission was established in India in 1979 by the Janata Party government under Prime Minister Morarji Desai with a mandate to “identify the socially or educationally backward”

  • It was headed by Indian parliamentarian B.P. Mandal to consider the question of seat reservations and quotas for people to redress caste discrimination, and used eleven social, economic, and educational indicators to determine backwardness

  • In 1980, the commission’s report affirmed the affirmative action practice under Indian law whereby members of Other Backward Classes (OBC), were given exclusive access to a certain portion of government Jobs and slots in public universities, and recommended changes to these quotas, by 27% Mobilization on caste lines had followed the political empowerment of ordinary citizens by the constitution of free India that allowed common people to politically assert themselves through the right to vote


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