97% of OBC Quota Jobs, Admissions Went to Under 25% Sub-Castes: Report

These findings are part of a consultation paper prepared by the Commission to Examine Sub-Categorisation of OBCs.

New Delhi: Of the jobs and educational positions reserved for the Other Backward Classes at the Central level, 97% have gone to people from less than a quarter of all OBC sub-castes, the Indian Express has reported. In addition, 938 OBC sub-castes – which make up 37% of the total number – have no representation at all in the reserved seats.

According to the newspaper, these findings are part of a consultation paper prepared by the Commission to Examine Sub-Categorisation of OBCs. The sub-castes benefitting from the reservations, according Indian Express, are Yadav, Kurmi, Jat, Saini, Thevar, Ezhava and Vokkaliga.

The Commission was appointed in October 2017 and looked at 1.3 lakh Central jobs and admissions to Central educational institutions under the OBC quota over the last three years. It was headed by former Chief Justice of the Delhi high court G. Rohini, and its consultation paper has now been sent to all chief secretaries and state OBC commissions for comments.

“We have received the report and are preparing our comments,” a state chief secretary told Indian Express.

Also read: We Need Annual Diversity Statistics for the Judiciary

In addition to the skew in favour of certain sub-castes, Indian Express has also reported that the share of several states in OBC quotas is much higher than their share in the population of India, and vice-versa. “As many as 994 OBC sub-castes have a total representation of only 2.68 per cent in recruitment and admissions,” the newspaper reports.

The Commission’s consultation paper also has recommendations on how to overcome these skews, including sub-categorising the quota so that it is not a big block for OBCs in general, but smaller blocks depending on a sub-castes’ population .

“The key idea is not to create a new hierarchy among OBCs but a more level playing field for all keeping in mind their numbers, their backwardness and their regional spread. How we do this without alienating existing beneficiaries is the challenge that we face,” the newspaper quoted an official in a state OBC commission as saying.