Commissionerate System

Sub-Categorization of OBC

News Excerpt

The Union Cabinet recently approved a six-month extension in the tenure of the commission to examine sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBC), which had been appointed in 2017 with the initial deadline of 12 weeks.


  • The Cabinet has also approved an addition to the commission’s terms of referencee now the commission will also study the various entries in the Central list of OBCs and recommend correction of any repetitions, ambiguities, inconsistencies and errors of spelling or transcription.
  • The Government had constituted a Commission on 2nd October 2017 under article 340 of the Constitution.
  • The four-member commission is headed by Justice (Retd.) G. Rohini, Chief Justice (Retd.), Delhi High Court.
  • The commission has said that it would require some more time to submit its report since the repetitions, ambiguities, inconsistencies and errors of spelling or transcription etc., appearing in the existing Central list of OBCs need to be cleared. 


  • This sub-categorization will enable more backward among the OBC communities to access the benefits of reservation for educational institutions and government jobs.
  • It is constituted to examine the issues of the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes with the following terms of reference:
    • To examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities included in the broad category of Other Backward Classes 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 Other Backward Classes; and
    • To take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of Other Backward Classes and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.
  • Challenges that the commission might face:
    • to develop a methodology for sub-categorisation of OBCs
    • availability of information regarding the social and educational backwardness of various castes and the state-wise variations of a particular caste
  • Hence, this exercise of sub-categorization is being carried out to make sure the benefits of reservation among castes included under the umbrella of OBC are equitably distributed
  • Mandal commission set up in 1979 recommended 27 per cent reservation for socially and educationally backward classes in higher education and government jobs.
  • But over the years it was observed that the benefits were mainly availed by the dominant groups of OBCs.


The government’s efforts for equal distribution of OBC reservations will create a positive impact on the backwards among the backward classes. It will be an ardent task for the Justice Rohini Commission to sub-categorise OBCs, at the same time the commission also has the responsibility to work out a formula that is acceptable to the communities within OBCs.


Article 15, Article 16, NCBC, Kalekar commission, Article 340, Mandal Commission