OBC subcategorization needed but easier said than done

One wonders how the Rohini Commission can complete such a complex exercise aimed at equitable redistribution of the OBC quota without countrywide consultations and detailed study of the multiple issues. The National Commission for Backward Classes had proposed that the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) carry out such an exercise, writes P.N. Sankaran

In view of the widespread indications that, over the years, the benefits of 27 per cent “Mandal” reservation to OBCs have not accrued to the deserving communities, the issue of subcategorization of OBCs has received serious attention of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). A five-member commission for subcategorization of OBCs (CSO), appointed on 2 October 2017 and chaired by Justice (retired) G. Rohini, is examining the politically sensitive issue. CSO is due to submit its report in November 2018. The commission is: examining the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the OBCs with reference to the Central List (of OBC castes); working out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters for sub-categorization; and identifying the castes to be included in the sub-categories. In 2015, the NCBC had proposed that OBCs be divided into the following three categories:

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