The Union Cabinet recently extended the term of the commission constituted under Article 340 of the Constitution examining the possibility of sub-categorisation within the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the Central list by six months beyond July 31 this year to January 31 next year. The Order of extension of the term of the “Commission” by 6 months beyond 31.7.2021 and till 31.01.2022 would be notified with the approval of the President.
“The proposed extension of tenure and addition in its terms of reference shall enable the Commission to submit a comprehensive report on the issue of sub-categorization of OBCs, after consultation with various stakeholders,” the statement issued after the Cabinet committee meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said.
The commission, which took charge on October 11, 2017, is headed by retired Delhi high court chief justice G Rohini. The commission is constituted of Centre for Policy Studies director Dr J K Bajaj as a member and two other ex-officio members. It was set up to examine the possibility of creating categories within OBCs for the reservation to ensure “equitable distribution” of representation among all OBC communities.
Its objectives include working out a mechanism, criteria, norm and parameters through a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within the OBCs and 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.
Currently, OBCs are granted 27% reservation in government jobs and educational institutes. The demand for sub-categorization comes from the notion that only a few affluent communities among the castes included in the Centre list of OBCs enjoy a major part of this 27% reservation.
There are 2,633 Other Backward Castes in the Central List and earlier this year the commission proposed to divide them into four subcategories numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4 and split the 27% into 2, 6, 9 and 10%, respectively.
The commission, commonly known as Rohini Commission, had also recommended complete digitisation of all OBC records and a standardised system of issuing OBC certificates.