The Union cabinet will Thursday take up two proposals of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment — one for the constitution of a commission for denotified and nomadic tribes and another for the inclusion of 104 castes from 13 states into the central list of OBCs. Both are long pending demands.
Denotified tribes were, during the British era, notified as criminal tribes. The notification was repealed in 1952, hence the moniker. The Balakrishna Renka Commission in its report in 2008 recommended that a commission be formed for the welfare of these tribes, which are made up of about 11 crore people. It also recommended that given the socio-economic backwardness of people of these tribes, there should be a 10% reservation provision as well.
The ministry, in its proposal, has ducked the reservation issue, saying it is the commission that would need to make the relevant recommendation. However, senior officials said a further 10% reservation would violate the 50% ceiling set by the court and is therefore a difficult proposition.
“The issue of reservation for denotified tribes is still open. As per procedure, it is the prerogative of the commission to recommend reservation. The proposal is for an in principle approval for the formation of the commission. The modalities will have to be worked out. There is also a plan for the formation of a corporation to finance loans to people from these tribes,” said a source.
The new castes in the central list of OBCs have been recommended at various times between 2011 and 2013 by the National Commission for Backward Classes, a statutory body constituted for inclusion and exclusion of communities in the OBC list. The communities belong to states including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Union Territories of Puducherry and Chandigarh, besides Delhi. Among the states, West Bengal tops the list with more than 35 castes.