The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to set up a panel to examine sub-categorisation of the Socially and Educationally Other Backward Castes (OBCs). The stratification of the OBC quota could lead to a quota within quota in OBC reservations, in a move that may have far reaching impact in national politics.

This could affect educationally and socially advanced communities within the backward classes like Yadavas who have benefited from the policy of positive discrimination brought by the Mandal Commission recommendation over the past three decades.

  1. The Cabinet also gave nod to enhance the annual income ceiling for the OBC creamy layer category from the current Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh
  2. This would increase the existing number of beneficiaries of various Government programmes and schemes including 27% quota in education and employment under the non-creamy layer OBC category.
  3. The proposed Commission will examine the extent of “inequitable distribution” of benefits of reservation among the castes and communities included in the broad category of the OBCs, with reference to the OBCs included in the Central list.
  4. It will work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters, in a scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs, and take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes/communities/ sub-castes/ synonyms in the Central List of the OBCs and classify them into their respective sub-categories. 
  5. The Commission will submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of the Chairperson of the Commission. 
  6. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry, Karnataka, Haryana, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have already carried out sub-categorization of the OBCs. 
  7. This comes months after the Cabinet approved a proposal for setting up of a new commission for backward classes as a constitutional body. The National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (NCSBC) Bill is currently pending for Parliament's clearance.