Cabinet approves additional ToR to OBC commission, extends term by 6 months

The four-member commission, set up on October 2, 2017, under Article 340 of the Constitution, started functioning from October 11, 2017. Photo: iStock

The Union cabinet on Wednesday (January 22) for the eighth time, has extended the term of the committee studying the impact of reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) by six months.

Addressing the media after a cabinet meeting chaired by Narendra Modi, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the government has also approved the Term of Reference to the existing ToR of the Commission which include studying various entries in the Central List of OBCs and recommending correction of any repetitions, ambiguities, inconsistencies and errors of spelling or tranion.

The four-member commission, set up on October 2, 2017, under Article 340 of the Constitution, started functioning from October 11, 2017.

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Originally, the commission had three terms of reference. They are – to examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities included in the broad category of OBCs with reference to such classes included in the Central List; to work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such OBCs; and to take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.

Official sources said the new ToR will be officially included when a gazette notification is issued after the approval of the president. When the commission’s recommendations are implemented it will benefit the socially and economically marginalised communities in the existing list of OBCs which have not been able to get any major benefit of the scheme of reservation for OBCs for appointment in central government jobs and for admission in central government educational institutions.

Official sources added that the commission has interacted with all the sub-categorised OBCs in the states and union territories and the state backward classes commissions.

When the commission was constituted in 2017 it was asked to submit its recommendations in 12 weeks. However, it sought more time as it wanted to obtain caste-wise data. Thereafter the government had been extending its term periodically. For this term, it has been extended by another six months, till July 31, 2020.

(With inputs from PTI)

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