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Justice Rohini Commission

The Justice Rohini Commission is a four-member commission tasked with examining the sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in India. The commission was appointed on October 2, 2017, and its report has been tabled before the President.

This topic of “Justice Rohini Commission” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

Purpose and Motivation

  • The commission’s main objective is to address perceived distortions in the implementation of the affirmative action policy for OBCs.
  • It aims to tackle the issue of certain castes within the OBC category disproportionately benefiting from the 27% reservation in central government jobs and educational institution admissions.

Key Figures

  • The commission is headed by Justice G Rohini, a retired Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.

OBC Reservation and Central List

  • Currently, there is a 27% reservation for OBCs in central government jobs and educational institution admissions.
  • The Central List of OBCs contains over 2,600 entries, encompassing various castes and communities eligible for reservation benefits.

Need for Sub-categorisation

  • The perception is that a few affluent OBC communities are garnering the majority of benefits under the 27% OBC quota, leaving out other less privileged groups.
  • Sub-categorisation is seen as a way to ensure more equitable distribution of reservation benefits among various OBC communities.

Supreme Court’s Intervention

  • In August 2020, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court revisited the 2005 decision in ‘E V Chinnaiah vs State of Andhra Pradesh.’
  • The 2005 ruling had disallowed the provision of special sub-quota within Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), arguing against benefiting more backward castes or tribes within these categories.
  • The 2020 verdict in ‘State of Punjab vs Davinder Singh’ examined the validity of the 2006 Punjab law that created sub-classification within SCs, aiming to reserve half the SC quota for identified castes.

Timeline

  • The Justice Rohini Commission was appointed on October 2, 2017, and has received 13 extensions to its tenure since then.

Conclusion

The Justice Rohini Commission’s examination of sub-categorisation within the OBC category comes as a response to the need for more equitable distribution of reservation benefits. As the commission’s report is tabled before the President, its recommendations will be crucial in shaping affirmative action policies for OBCs in India.

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