OBC reservation in India: History, state-wise quota, legal challenges, tussle for local body polls

The Supreme Court docket lately upheld a keep on 27 per cent reservations for OBCs in Maharashtra

The Supreme Court docket lately upheld a keep on 27 per cent reservations for OBCs in Maharashtra

The story thus far: Final week, the Maharashtra authorities had a setback when the Supreme Court docket directed the State to launch the schedule for native civic polls throughout the state inside two weeks, upholding its keep on reservations for Different Backward Courses (OBC).

Native physique elections in Maharashtra have been on maintain for the reason that apex Court docket stayed the 27 per cent reservation for the OBC group in December 2021. The Court docket has said that it’s going to resolve on the difficulty after elections happen. The Court docket has equally stayed 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in native physique polls in Madhya Pradesh.

What’s the reservation for OBCs in India?

First outlined within the 1980 Mandal Fee report, OBCs amongst Hindus have been recognized primarily based on socio-educational discipline surveys, lists of OBCs notified by varied State governments, the 1961 Census report, and in depth touring of the nation. Amongst non-Hindus, the caste system was not discovered to be an inherent a part of the faith. Nevertheless, for equality, OBCs have been recognized as untouchables transformed from Hinduism and occupational communities recognized by their conventional hereditary jobs, such because the Gujjars, Dhobis, and Telis.

The report estimated that OBCs constituted almost 52 per cent of India’s inhabitants, excluding Scheduled Castes/Tribes (SC/STs.) Therefore, for the inclusion of OBCs, the report really useful a 27 per cent reservation for these communities in authorities providers and central/State instructional establishments. That reservation was additionally made relevant to promotion quotas in any respect ranges.

Nevertheless, kids of presidency officers at greater posts, civil servants, high-ranking armed forces officers, professionals in commerce, and so-called ‘creamy layer’ people are to be excluded from OBC reservations.

In line with a 2017 order issued by the Centre, creamy layer people are those that have an annual earnings of Rs 8 lakhs or extra, disqualifying them from advantages beneath the OBC quota. The ‘creamy layer’ threshold has been regularly elevated from Rs 1 lakh/yr in 1993 to Rs 2.5 lakhs, Rs 4.5 lakhs, Rs 6 lakhs and now Rs 8 lakhs

At present, SC/ST communities have a 22.5 per cent reservation, OBCs have 27 per cent and members of the Economically Weaker Part (EWS) have a ten per cent reservation in authorities jobs and academic establishments. Nevertheless, the EWS reservation has run into authorized troubles in a number of States. Solely, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Delhi, J&Ok, Goa, Assam, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh have a ten per cent EWS quota, as of 2021.

State-wise reservation for OBCs

In 2021, the Parliament handed the 127th Constitutional modification which allowed States and Union Territories to arrange their very own checklist of socially and educationally backward lessons (SEBC).

Every State has listed communities that are recognised as OBCs and accorded them reservations accordingly. As per authorities data, right here is the info concerning the OBC quota in authorities providers by State:

  • Andhra Pradesh: 29 per cent
  • Assam: 27 per cent
  • Bihar: 33 per cent
  • Chhattisgarh: 14 per cent
  • Delhi: 27 per cent
  • Goa: 27 per cent
  • Gujarat: 27 per cent
  • Haryana: 10 per cent in (Class 1 &2 govt jobs), 27 per cent (Class 3 & 4 govt jobs)
  • Himachal Pradesh: 12 per cent (Class 1 &2), 18 per cent (Class 3 &4)
  • J&Ok: 25 per cent
  • Jharkhand: 14 per cent
  • Karnataka: 32 per cent
  • Kerala: 40 per cent
  • Madhya Pradesh: 14 per cent
  • Maharashtra: 19 per cent
  • Manipur: 17 per cent
  • Odisha: 27 per cent
  • Punjab: 12 per cent in direct recruitment, 5 per cent in instructional establishments
  • Rajasthan: 21 per cent
  • Sikkim: 21 per cent
  • Tamil Nadu: 50 per cent
  • Uttar Pradesh: 27 per cent
  • Uttarakhand: 14 per cent
  • West Bengal: 17 per cent
  • Andaman & Nicobar: 38 per cent
  • Chandigarh: 27 per cent
  • Daman & Diu: 27 per cent
  • Dadra & Nagar Haveli: 5 per cent
  • Puducherry: 13 per cent

There is no such thing as a reservation for OBCs in Lakshadweep, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh as a result of absence of any residents belonging to OBC communities.

OBC quota in medical admissions

In July 2021, Centre introduced a 27 per cent quota for OBCs and a ten per cent quota for the EWS class for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental programs from the educational yr 2021-22 onwards. This resolution was later upheld by the Supreme Court docket on January 7, 2022.

Amid large protests by docs and medical college students over the delay in NEET-PG counselling, a two-judge SC Bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and A.S. Bopanna allowed the counselling course of to start together with the 2 quotas. Nevertheless, the Court docket is particularly inspecting the feasibility of getting a Rs. 8 lakh cap to avail the EWS quota for PG medical admissions.

This resolution offered aid to docs already burdened by the elevated caseload as a result of onset of the Omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, that is the primary time the apex court docket has upheld the EWS quota which has been challenged for constitutionality in a number of Excessive Courts.

OBC quota in elections

To make sure political illustration, of the 543 seats in Lok Sabha, 84 seats are reserved for SCs, 47 seats for STs and a couple of for Anglo-Indian members (nominated by the President). SC/ST communities have reservations of their respective State Assemblies, councils and native our bodies too. Nevertheless, for OBC communities, there are not any separate political reservations in State legislatures or native our bodies.

In a bid to change this, the Maharashtra authorities handed an Ordinance to introduce a 27-per-cent reservation for OBCs in Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis. Nevertheless, in December 2021, the SC struck down the Ordinance citing the 50-per-cent threshold rule for reservation.

In Indira Sawhney vs Union of India (1992), the Supreme Court docket had upheld the 50-per-cent ceiling on reservations, thereby limiting states’ powers. The nine-judge Bench within the case additionally established elements equivalent to caste, social standing, and earnings to establish backwardness. The Bench additionally launched the idea of the ‘creamy layer’ to exclude extra rich people from looking for the good thing about reservations.

Breaching the 50-per-cent ceiling

The Indira Sawhney judgement had additionally been cited by the Supreme Court docket when it stayed Madhya Pradesh’s endeavour to determine a 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in native physique polls. Furthermore, the apex court docket additionally struck down the Tamil Nadu Particular Reservation Act, 2021 which offered a ten.5 per cent reservation to Vanniyars throughout the present quota for OBCs, stating that there was ‘no foundation to deal with Vanniyar as a separate group in comparison with the others’.

Regardless of the apex court docket upholding the 50-per-cent ceiling, many communities have sought separate reservations on the State and Central ranges throughout India. Probably the most notable protests have included these of the Gujjars (Rajasthan) looking for their reclassification from OBC to STs and five-per-cent reservation. Equally, Patidars (Gujarat) and Jats (UP, Rajasthan, Delhi) have been looking for inclusion as OBCs.

Marathas – members of Maharashtra’s most dominant caste — sought separate reservations for the group and have held large protests through the years. In 2018, the Maharashtra authorities constituted a Socially and Educationally Backward Courses (SEBC) class and accorded a 16 per cent reservation to Marathas in authorities jobs and academic establishments. This regulation was later struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court docket.

Because the inclusion of the 10-per-cent EWS quota, most States have breached the 50-per-cent cap on reservations. Topping the checklist is Tamil Nadu (69 per cent), adopted by Chhattisgarh (69 per cent), Maharashtra (62 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (60 per cent), Bihar (60 per cent), Delhi (60 per cent), Jharkhand (60 per cent), Karnataka (60 per cent), Kerala (60 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (60 per cent), Telangana (60 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (60 per cent.)

Lately, the decision for reconsidering the 50-per-cent cap has been rising since a number of States have been demanding a caste census to find out the precise inhabitants of SCs, STs, OBCs, and minorities.

Nevertheless, the Centre has maintained that the caste census information of 2011 is unusable because it was “fraught with errors and inaccuracies”. It has additionally refused to conduct a nationwide caste census in 2022.

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