The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the extension of the term of the commission constituted under Article 340 of the constitution to examine the issue of Sub-categorizationwithin other Backward Classes in the Central List by six months beyond 31st July, 2019 and upto 31st January, 2020. The proposed extension of tenure shall enable the “Commission” to submit a comprehensive report on the issue of sub-categorization of OBCs, after consultation with various stake holders.
 
 
What
  1. The Union Cabinet has given final extension to commission constituted to examine sub-categorisation within Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Central list. The commission earlier had term till June 20, 2018 but with extension it will now work till July 31, 2018.
  2. The Commission was constituted with approval of President under Article 340 of Constitution in October, 2017. It is headed by Justice (Retd.) G. Rohini
  3. It was tasked to examine extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among castes included in broad category of OBCs, especially with reference to OBCs included in Central list. 
  4. It was also tasked to take up exercise of identifying respective castes, sub-castes, communities synonyms in Central List of OBCs and classify them into their respective sub-categories. 
  5. It mandate was to work out mechanism, norms, criteria and parameters, in scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs.
Background
  1. The Supreme Court of India in Indra Sawhney and others vs. Union of India case (1992) had observed that there is no constitutional or legal bar on states for categorizing OBCs as backward or more backward. 
  2. It had also observed that it is not impermissible in law if state chooses to do sub-categorization. 
  3. So far, 9 states/UTs viz. Karnataka, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Puducherry, Telangana, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have carried out sub-categorization of OBCs. So far there was no sub categorisation in central list of OBCs.

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