How are OBCs sub-categorized in India

The Justice Rohini Commission for Dividing OBCs has received another extension. Why did it feel necessary to create sections within OBCs for bookings, and what has the panel found so far?

On Wednesday, the Center extended the term of the Observatory (OBCs) Sub-Class Examination Commission led by Justice G Rohini, a former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. The Commission, which was formed about five years ago, has 10 additions to date, and now has until January 31 next year to submit its report.

What is the subdivision of the OBCs?

The idea is to create smaller sections within a larger OBC group for booking purposes. OBCs are offered 27% bookings on jobs and education under central government. This has been the subject of legal debate in other areas of booking: in September last year, the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court reopened the debate on the division of the Commonwealth and Organized Nations into bookings.

At OBCs, the debate stems from the idea that only a few wealthy communities out of more than 2,600 are listed on the OBC Central list with the largest share of 27% booking. The issue of creating sub-divisions within the OBCs will ensure the “equitable distribution” of representation among all OBC communities.

It was to test this when the Rohini Commission was established on October 2, 2017.

What is the purpose of the Commission?

It was established on three terms of reference:

  1. Assess the level of unequal distribution of booking benefits between categories or communities included in the broader OBC category with reference to those classes listed in the Medium list.
  2. Creating procedures, conditions, procedures and boundaries in a scientific way of classification within those OBCs.
  3. Taking on the task of identifying categories or communities or sub-categories or similar names in the OBC intermediate list and categorizing them into sub-categories. The fourth reference term was added on January 22, 2020.
  4. Study the various entries in the OBC Central List and recommend correction for any duplication, ambiguity, inconsistencies and spelling or spelling errors.

This was followed by a letter to the government from the Commission on July 30, 2019, in which it flagged “several uncertainties in the list as it stands now”.

When were you to submit its report?

At its inception, the Commission was given 12 weeks to submit its report, but it was extended ten times. Another member of the Commission is former journalist Jitendra Bajaj, director of the Center for Policy Studies. In May this year, the government appointed Prof Bajaj as the next chair of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).

“I am still a member of the Rohini Commission. That’s just an honorable position. There is a lot of work to be done, ”Bajaj told Indian Express on Thursday.

In 2021, up to August 31, the National Postgraduate Commission (NCBC) spent Rs 54.01 lakh on the Commission, according to NCBC’s response to the RTI question this week. These include the salaries of Justice Rohini and Prof Bajaj, the salaries of professionals and foreign workers, as well as other hospitality facilities. Responding to a previous RTI question, NCBC said that as of December 2020, more than Rs 1.92 crore had been spent on the Commission which included salaries, consultation fees and other expenses.

What progress have we made so far?

In its letter of July 30, 2019, the Commission wrote that it was ready for a draft report on subdivision. Following the new term of reference added on January 22, the Commission began reading the list of communities in the middle list.

Among the challenges he has faced, is the lack of information on people from different communities to match their representation in the workplace and admission. The commission wrote to the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot on December 12, 2018, requesting the allocation of appropriate budget for the proposed India-wide survey to measure the number of smart people according to the OBC categories. But on March 7, 2019 (three days before the Lok Sabha voting system was announced), Judge Rohini wrote to Gehlot: “We have now decided not to conduct such a survey yet.”

On August 31, 2018, then-Interior Minister Rajnath Singh had announced that in the 2021 Census, the details of the OBCs would be collected, but since then the government has said nothing about it, and the OBC parties wanted the OBCs to be counted in the Census. .

What have been the consequences so far?

In 2018, the Commission analyzed 1.3 lakh intermediate job data provided under the OBC allocation over the past five years and the OBC accreditation of tertiary institutions, including universities, IITs, NITs, IIMs, and AIIMS, three years ago. Findings were: 97 per cent of all jobs and educational seats up to only 25% of all entities considered OBCs; 24.95% of these jobs and seats went to only 10 OBC communities; 983 OBC communities – 37 percent of the total – have no representation at work and in educational institutions; The 994 OBC sub-casts have a total value of only 2.68% on hire and admission.

What is the level of OBC employment in mid-career jobs?

According to information presented to Parliament by Jitendra Singh, MoS Labor, Social Complaints and Pensions, Rajya Sabha on March 17, the total number of employees in Group A to Group C (including safai karmacharis) was 5.12 lakh (see table) . Of these, 17.70% were SC, 6.72% ST, 20.26% OBC (Other Back Classes), and 0.02% EWS (Economic Weakness Categories). In Group-A, the highest among these, the representation of SCs is only 12.86%, STs 5.64% and OBCs 16.88%. Reservations for these communities are 15%, 7.5% and 27% respectively.

The data includes 43 government departments and offices including the Secretariat Cabinet, the UPSC and the Electoral Commission, but with the exception of major central government employers such as Railways and the Department of Transport.

Separately, on February 2 in Lok Sabha, Jitendra Singh said that among the Secretaries and Special Secretaries, only six are members of the SC and STs, and, “there are no details about the OBC database”. On March 31 in Rajya Sabha, he said: “Of the 91 additional secretaries, the number of SC / ST and OBC community officers is 10 and 4 respectively and comes from 245 Joint Secretaries, the number of officers under SC / ST. and OBC communities have 26 and 29 communities respectively in the various departments / departments under the Central Staff Scheme. ”

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