ROHINI COMMISSION (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 - Social Justice)

News-CRUX-10     1st August 2023        
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Context: After almost six years and 14 extensions, the commission for sub-categorisation of OBCs submitted its report on the last day of its tenure, putting the ball in the court of the Modi government to decide if it wants to redefine the reservation structure for the backward classes erected by the Mandal Commission. 

  • The commission was set up in October 2017, amid heightened expectations that the BJP government was eager to divide the OBCs into sub-groups and apportion the 27% central quota among them.
  • The panel, headed by retired Justice G Rohini, was to initially submit its report in 12 weeks, but has since been given 14 extensions.

Rohini commission

  • About: Constituted under article 340 of the Indian constitution to check on the issue of Sub Categorization within Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the Central List.
    • Origin: The five-member commission, headed by Justice G. Rohini (retd), was constituted in October 2017 and was initially given 12 weeks to submit its report to the President of India.
      • Union Government has extended the term of the Justice Rohini Commission until January 31, 2023, to submit its report on the Sub-Categorization of OBCs. This is the 13th extension in a row. 
    • Objectives: It was appointed to examine the issues on sub-categorization of Other Backward Castes with reference to the following aspects:
      • To study the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes listed in the broad category of OBC with reference to such classes included in the Central list.
      • To devise the parameters, criteria, norms, and mechanisms in a scientific approach for sub-categorization within Other Backward Classes.
      • To initiate the task of identifying respective classes, communities, sub-castes, or synonyms from the Central List of Other Backward Classes and categorizing them into respective sub-categories.
  • Findings and Recommendations: The Commission has proposed a four-category formula for the equitable redistribution of the 27% quota for Other Backward Classes. 
    • It has proposed a division of 2, 633 OBC castes in the Central list into four subcategories 1,2,3, and 4 to split the 27% OBC quota reservation.
      • Category 1: Category 1 includes 1,674 groups, largely the most disadvantaged groups to receive 2% reservation.
      • Category 2: consists of 534 caste groups with a 6% quota reservation
      • Category 3: includes 328 caste groups and 9% reservation
      • Category 4: comprises 97 caste groups with 10 % reservation
    • The sub-categorization would ensure that though Category 4 receives the major share, that is, 10 percent of reservation, other categories will also be guaranteed a share.
    • It also recommended complete digitisation of all OBC records and a standardised system of issuing OBC certificates.
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