Special Correspondent

“The 27 per cent reservation for OBCs not being implemented fully”

CHENNAI: Unless the issue of creamy layer is tackled to the “best of satisfaction of the Other Backward Castes, the object of the Constitutional amendment will not be fully met,” Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. In the letter to Dr. Singh on Wednesday, a copy of which was released to the media, Mr. Karunanidhi said the DMK had strongly opposed the concept of creamy layer and due to its exclusion, about 400 seats in higher educational institutions remain unfilled in the current academic year. The Supreme Court had held that there was no bar in filling these vacancies from among the open competition category students, he said.

It was to fulfil one of the longstanding demands of the OBCs that the United Progressive Alliance government introduced the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, providing for 27 per cent reservation to students from OBCs.

“After crossing a number of hurdles, the validity of this Act was upheld by the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court…Even after this major historic development, the implementation of the 27 per cent reservation has been facing rough weather,” he said. The Centre had decided to implement reservation in higher educational institutions over a period of three years and to create additional seats in such a manner that the number of seats in open competition did not get altered. “Though we are not in agreement with this formula, as it is not in conformity with the basic principles of social justice, the Government of India has started implementing 9 per cent reservation during the current academic year,” he said. The 27 per cent reservation for OBCs was not being implemented fully. “Only one third of the prescribed quota has been implemented, excluding the creamy layer. The enhanced income ceiling from Rs.2.5 lakh to Rs.4 lakh per annum recommended by the National Backward Classes Commission has also not been taken up for implementation. All these factors have diluted the purpose of reservation and resulted in vacancies” he said, adding that if the vacancies were filled from among open competition category candidates, the OBCs fear that it would be a big setback to their right of reservation.

Hence, the situation had to be resolved using legal means, he said and wanted the Prime Minister to “take immediate steps to rectify the situation and pave the way for full implementation of social justice.”