The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved amendments to the Central List of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) to include or delete 115 castes in the List from 13 States and three Union Territories.

Amendments have been approved from proposals received by Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and three Union Territories — Chandigarh, Delhi and Puducherry.

The changes in the List by way of inclusion / correction / deletion of castes/communities have been approved as per the advices received from the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). The amendments will notify 115 changes recommended by the NCBC.

The proposed changes will enable persons belonging to these castes/communities to avail benefits of reservation in government services and posts as well as in central educational institutions according to existing policy. They will also become eligible for benefit under various welfare schemes, and scholarships, being administered by the Central Government, which are at present available to persons belonging to the OBCs.

The NCBC was set up in pursuance to the Supreme Court judgement in the Indira Sawhney case. As per the NCBC Act 1993, Section 9, the Commission is mandated to examine requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the lists and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any backward class in such lists and tender such advice to the Central Government as it deems appropriate and the advice of the Commission is ordinarily be binding upon the Central Government.

The NCBC has been tendering advice to the Central government from time to time. A total of 30 Notifications have been issued so far and a total of 2343 “entries” (an “entry” means a caste, including its synonyms, sub-castes) have been notified in the Central list of OBCs for 24 States and six Union Territories. The last such notification was issued on 08.12.2011. Since then, many more advices for inclusion/ deletion of castes/ communities and correction in the existing list of OBCs, have been received from the NCBC.

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