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  • 08 July, 2022

  • 9 Min Read



Recently Union Cabinet approved the 13th extension to the Justice Rohini Commission, to examine the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes constituted under article 340 of the Constitution.

The initial deadline to submit the report was 12 weeks by 2nd January 2018.


  • The commission was constituted to examine the issue of sub-categorization within Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the Central List on 2nd October 2017.
  • In 2015 the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) recommended that OBC should be categorized into extremely backward classes, more backward classes, and backward classes.
  • NCBC has the power to examine complaints and welfare regarding socially and educationally backward classes.

Reason for extensions

  • The Report is ready with the recommendations. But feedback from States is pending before submitting it.
  • The Commission will visit each State and see the situation on the ground. The process has been delayed due to the pandemic and in the last six months, no visit has been made.
  • The given extension of tenure and addition in its terms of reference shall enable the commission to submit a comprehensive report on the issue of sub-categorization of OBC, after the consultation with various stakeholders

Commission Terms of Reference

  • To examine the uneven distribution of reservations and to provide the equitable distribution of the benefit reserved for OBCs among these.
  • To work out the mechanism, norms, criteria, and parameters in a scientific approach for the sub-categorization of OBCs.
  • To take up the work of identifying the respective castes/communities/sub-castes/synonyms for comprehensive data coverage
  • To study and recommend correction of any repetitions, ambiguities, inconsistencies, and errors in transcriptions.

Need for the Sub-categorization of OBC

  • No uniform benefits -The relatively dominant and rich sections among the backward castes have tended to take up a disproportionately larger share of the reservation pie.
  • Upper strata have a major share- Presently, half of these 1,900-odd castes have availed less than 3% of reservations in jobs and education, and the rest availed zero benefits during the last five years.

For Example- On the one hand, there are powerful land-owning farming communities like (Jats, Yadavs, and Kurmis )who are availing benefits and on the other hand, there is a large number of numerically small peasant and allied communities such as fish workers and herdsmen who have little or even no land holdings.

  • Five-year data on OBC quota implementation in central jobs and higher educational institutions revealed that a very small section has cornered the major share.
  • Recommendations in this favour- The National Commission for Backward Classes had recommended the sub-categorization in 2011 and the Standing committee too had recommended this. Sub-categorization is a very simple way of addressing this inequality within the OBCs.

Work done so far

Commission has met representatives of state governments, State Backward Class Commissions, and community associations.

  • The commission has suggested dividing OBCs into four subcategories numbered 1,2,3 and 4 and splitting the 27% into 2%,6%,9%, and 10% in the year 2021.
  • It has also suggested complete digitization of all OBC records and a standardized system of issuing OBC certificates.


  • Political issue- It is likely to affect the dominant OBC groups. The regional parties championing the interests of dominant OBC castes are likely to oppose such sub-categorization.
  • An earlier attempt to provide sub-quotas for OBCs in Andhra Pradesh was stalled by courts on the ground that a religion-based quota is not permitted.
  • Vote-bank politics has a lot to do with the prioritizing of caste-based categorization over income-based differentiation to identify the reservation beneficiaries.

Source: The Hindu

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