Rohini Commission proposes 27% OBC quota be split into 2, 6, 9 & 10%

February 15, 2021 0 By boss


New Delhi: The Justice Rohini Commission, set up to look into the politically sensitive question of equitable redistribution of the 27% quota for Other Backward Castes (OBC), is set to begin consultations next month with states on a four-category formula, ET has learnt. The Commission, formed on October 2, 2017, is learnt to have drawn up a proposal to divide the total 2,633 OBC castes in the Central List into four subcategories. The categories numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4 are proposed to split 27% of the OBC quota reservation into 2,6,9 and 10 per cent, respectively.

As of now, 27% quota is set aside for OBCs in jobs and seats in central government-funded educational institutes. However, the commission has found that a few caste groups have cornered bulk of the share. According to the initial assessment, ET has gathered, Category 1 will include 1,674 caste groups, largely those who have not benefited from the quota. Category 2 will have 534 caste groups while categories 3 and 4 will gave 328 and 97 caste groups, respectively. Though Category 4 with the least number of caste groups, mostly considered dominant OBCs with large population, will still get the largest chunk at 10%, insiders said, the sub-categorisation would ensure that other groups will also be guaranteed a share.

“Our work is mostly complete. We will be travelling to various states next month onwards to sound them out on our proposals and also to take their suggestions on individual castes for inclusion where required. We also have to keep in mind that about 11 states already have their own sub-categorisation and some tallying may be needed”, a member of the Commission told to ET on the condition of anonymity.

While declining to share details of the sub-categorisation, the member said that the idea was to “open up more spaces for backward castes as a group rather than individual castes” to allow equity in the quota regime. The issue is bound to have significant political and social ramifications as it will impact influential and politically active dominant OBCs, especially in the heartland.

Assessments available with the Commission show that over the past five years, just 10 caste groups constitute one-fourth of the beneficiaries in the 27%OBC quota break-up. In a similar scale, 37 caste groups make up two-thirds and 100 count for three-fourths. The remaining 2486 caste groups make up for the last one-fourth in the quota matrix. The Commission’s assessments indicate that even among these 2,486 castes, over a 1,000 of them have no representation at all in the 27% quota.

This has led to a wide disparity among states. For instance, the Commission had observed that in the IITs, Haryana and Kerala sent in 581 and 595 OBC candidates respectively in a particular year, while there were just 71 candidates from Punjab and 127 from a bigger state like Karnataka. The Rohini Commission was to originally submit its report by March 2018. It was recently given its tenth extension to submit its report by July 31.


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