The Union Cabinet on Wednesday ruled out having a relook at the reservation system in the country even as it approved setting up setting up of a commission for sub-categorisation within the other backward classes
for even distribution of reservation benefit.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had in September, 2015 pitched for a review of the reservation policy, contending it has been used for political ends and suggested setting up of an apolitical committee to examine who needs the facility and for how long.
“Neither there is any proposal before the government, nor would there be a proposal (before it in the future),” Jaitley said when asked whether the government will review the reservation system as proposed by Bhagwat.
Jaitley, however, said that the government has approved setting up of a commission to examine the sub categorisation of backward communities in the central list to ensure that the benefits extended to OBCs reach all the communities.
Talking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Jaitley said as many as 11 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, West Bengal and the Jammu region in Jammu and Kashmir already have such categorisation in state government jobs.
There is no sub categorisation in the central list. The proposed commission will examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among caste and communities, including the broad categories of OBCs included in the central list. The commission will submit its report in 12 weeks from the day it is set up.
“There will be more equitable distribution amongst the OBCs themselves (of the benefits),” Jaitley explained. The proposed commission, to be set up under Article 340 of the Constitution, will submit its report within 12 weeks from the date its chairperson is appointed.
According to a press release issued by the government, the panel will examine the “extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes and communities included in the broad category of OBCs, with reference to the OBCs included in the Central list”.
It will also work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters — in a scientific approach — for sub-categorisation within such OBCs. The commission will also undertake an exercise of identifying the respective castes/communities/ sub-castes/synonyms in the central list of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.
The Cabinet also raised the income limit defining ‘creamy layer’ for OBC reservation by Rs 2 lakh per annum. The ministry of social justice and empowerment had proposed that OBC families which earn more than Rs 8 lakh per year should be classified as ‘creamy layer’ -— the ceiling which bars members of the other backward classes from availing reservations in employment.
There had been three revisions of the creamy layer bar. It was fixed at Rs one lakh in 1993 and hiked to Rs 2.5 lakh in 2004 and Rs 4.5 lakh in 2008. The present ceiling of Rs six lakh came into being in 2013.
(With inputs from PTI)