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21 May 2018 National Cover Story

Sharing The Reservation Pie

The ‘Mandal-vs-Kamandal’ discourse has given way to talk of inequities within the beneficiary categories
Sharing The Reservation Pie
Sharing The Reservation Pie
outlookindia.com
2018-05-12T11:04:37+0530

At A Glance

  • 27 per cent reservation for OBCs across India was provided by implementing the 1979 Mandal Commission report in 1989
  • The only recent nationwide record of non-SC, non-ST castes is the 2011 Census. Its findings are still unreleased
  • OBCs are estimated to be 40-60 per cent of the total population

Castes Within Categories, Quotas Within Quotas

  • OBCs are not a homogeneous group. Within OBCs, the most backward groups are far more numerous, but have less representation in government jobs.
  • Yadavs are said to have cornered 30 per cent of reservation benefits among OBCs, while the 2001 Gazette puts it at five per cent of government jobs
  • Class divisions among OBCs have widened over the years, and the More Backward Classes (MBCs) are eager for more jobs and a greater share in power
  • Dominant OBCs such as Yadav, Kurmi and Jat have developed their own political leadership, but MBCs feel left out socially and politically
  • The BJP wants to subdivide reservation among OBCs by fixing a sub-quota for each category within OBCs
  • The UP government plans to shift 17 OBC castes to the SC category
  • Bihar has separate quotas for MBCs and Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs), along the lines of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu
  • Such compartmentalisation was suggested in a dissent note by L.R. Nayak in the Mandal Commission, who recommended 12 per cent and 15 per cent reservations for less backward intermediate castes and MBCs respectively
  • Even among SCs, the 22 dominant Dalit castes are said to make up 60 per cent of the total Dalit population. The remaining 40 per cent accounts for about 1,000 castes, often referred to as the ‘real Dalit-Bahujans’—fewer in number, scattered geographically and unable to benefit much from reservation
  • In UP, 62 of 66 Dalit castes are numerically small castes such as Musahar (10 lakh population), or Dusadh, Bansphor, Dom, Nat and Bahelia, who together number fewer than two lakh

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