New Delhi: Ahead of Gujarat polls, the government on Monday night appointed a five-member Commission headed by Delhi High Court's retired Chief Justice G. Rohini to examine sub categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in a bid to ensure that more backwards among the OBC communities avail the benefits of reservation.
It has been asked to submit its report within 12 weeks.
President Ram Nath Kovind issued the order constituting the Commission under the provisions of Article 340 of the Constitution, a decision taken on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, enforcing the spirit of his teachings to achieve social justice, an official release from Ministry of Social, Justice and Empowerment said.
"The President in exercise of the powers conferred by article 340 of the Constitution appointed a Commission to examine the sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes.
"This decision, taken on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, reinforces, in the spirit of his teachings, the government's efforts to achieve greater social justice and inclusion for all, and specifically members of the Other Backward Classes," it added.
The Commission will have as its members J. K. Bajaj, the Director of Centre for Policy Studies, and the Director, Anthropological Survey of India and the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, while Joint Secretary in the Ministry will be its Secretary.
It will examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes or communities included in the broad category of OBCs with reference to such classes included in the Central List.
It wil also work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such OBCs and will take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.
On receipt of its report, the Central government will consider ways and means for equitable distribution of the benefits of the reservation in Central government jobs and admission in Central government institutions amongst all strata of OBCs.
Last month, the government raised the 'creamy layer' ceiling for OBC reservation for securing government jobs to Rs 8 lakh from the existing Rs 6 lakh per year.
The National Commission for Backward Classes had given its recommendation in 2011 that there should be sub-categorisation and the Parliamentary Standing Committee had also given such a recommendation.
The Supreme Court, in its November 1992 order, had observed that there is no Constitutional or legal bar to a state categorising backward classes as backward or more backward.