April 2, 2021 2:59:41 am
The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has urged the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to collect data on the population of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the country “as part of Census of India 2021 exercise”, it is learnt.
NCBC secretary Anand Kumar on Thursday sent the recommendation to the Social Justice Ministry Secretary.
Kumar did not respond to questions sent by The Indian Express. Sources in the NCBC confirmed that the communiqué was sent to the ministry.
While a petition filed by one Mallesh Yadav in the matter is pending before the Supreme Court, the NCBC wrote that it “desired that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment may defend the writ petition” in the apex court.
The NCBC had considered the matter in full meeting of the Commission recently and, sources said, the decision was taken unanimously.
The NCBC was granted constitutional status by the last Narendra Modi-led regime, and the government has constituted a commission under chairmanship of former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice G Rohini to sub-categorise OBCs to give benefits of reservation to weaker sections among them. The Rohini Commission, too, is facing difficulties due to unavailability of data on various communities classified under OBCs.
The Rohini Commission got a fresh term on January 22, 2020 – it was tasked with studying “various entries in the Central List of OBCs and recommend correction of any repetitions, ambiguities, inconsistencies and errors of spelling or transcription”.
The panel had written to Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on December 12, 2018, requesting for appropriate Budget provision for a proposed all-India survey for an estimate of caste-wise population of OBCs. Subsequently, on March 7, 2019, Justice Rohini wrote to Gehlot, “We have now decided not to undertake such survey at this stage.”
On the politically delicate issue, the Odisha government recently decided to begin its first state survey of the social and educational conditions of people from backward classes. A proposal by the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes to undertake the survey was approved on February 26 this year. It is scheduled to be conducted between May 1 and May 20.