The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a six-month extension to the commission appointed to examine sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes.
Headed by retired Delhi High Court Chief Justice G. Rohini, the commission will now have till January 31, 2021 to submit its report, the government said in a statement. The commission had been appointed in October 2017 with the initial deadline of 12 weeks. It has received several extensions since then.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had decided to give the extension. He said the work of the commission was ongoing but had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement said the commission was looking into the issues of communities that were not getting the benefits of reservation. Mr. Javadekar said, for instance, certain castes were left out of the ambit because of a difference in spelling in a State. He said the commission would address such ‘anomalies’.
“The commission has come to the view that it would require some more time to submit its report since the repetitions, ambiguities, inconsistencies and errors of spelling or transcription etc. appearing in the existing Central List of OBCs need to be cleared.
“Hence it had sought extension up to July 31, 2020. However, due to the nationwide lockdown and restrictions on travel imposed on account of the pandemic, the commission was not able to perform the task assigned to it,” the statement read.