t is mandatory for the panel to submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of the chairperson.
New Delhi: With an eye on expanding the other backward caste (OBC) base, prior to polls in key states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, in the next 18 months, the Cabinet on Wednesday increased the income limit ceiling of OBCs for reservation in Central government jobs from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.
Union Cabinet also approved the proposal of setting up a committee which will look into the possibilities of sub-categorisation of OBCs, or inclusion of more communities under the category. It is mandatory for the panel to submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of the chairperson.
The commission to be set up under Article 340 of the Constitution will identify the respective castes or communities or sub-castes in the Central list, classify them into sub-categories, and examine the inequitable distribution of benefits and reservation among castes and communities included in the central list of OBCs, according to its terms of reference, approved by the Cabinet, an official statement issued after the Cabinet meeting, said.
The commission will also work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters through scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such categories, it added.
Briefing reporters on the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that as many as 11 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, West Bengal and the Jammu region in Jammu and Kashmir already had such categorisation in state government jobs.
The official statement, citing a Supreme Court order (Indra Sawhney and others vs. Union of India), said that the Cabinet was of the view that “there was no Constitutional or legal bar to a State categorizing backward classes as backward or more backward and had further observed that if a State chooses to do it (sub-categorisation), it is not impermissible in law”.