Restore 27% OBC quota, says Maharashtra panel

State Backward Class Commission report puts OBC numbers at 38%

Published - February 09, 2022 02:32 am IST - Mumbai

The Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission interim report has recommended to the Maharashtra government, “to restore and grant 27% reservation (which is already prescribed by various enactments) to Other Backward Classes (OBC)”.

The Commission headed by Justice (retd.) Anand Nirgude submitted the report to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on February 7 and said, “The figure of OBC population in the State is 38%.”

On January 19, the Supreme Court had directed the Commission to submit an interim report after the State had informed the court that it has some data on OBC which is relevant for the upcoming local polls.

The Hindu has a copy of the report that mentions, “The data extracted from SARAL (Rural and Urban) and UDISE (Rural and Urban) is found more reliable. SARAL indicates that there is 32.93% population belonging to OBCs in Maharashtra and the UDISE indicates that there are 38% population. The mean of these figures is more than 38%. The above sources indicate the percentage of OBC pupils that joined the schools, therefore, it endorses that the percentage of OBCs in Maharashtra may be much more than 38%.”

The purpose of the interim report was to consider the data and recommend a workable solution, to provide political reservation for BCC/OBC as an interim arrangement for the upcoming elections of local bodies, in the absence of empirical study and research by this Commission.

Upper limit

The report reads, “Considering the data/documents submitted by the State government and upon analysing the same, this Commission thought it fit to recommend “to restore and grant 27% reservation (which is already prescribed by various enactments), excluding the areas notified by the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act and subject to permissible upper limit of 50% to BCC/OBC category in local self-government i.e. excluding statutory reservation meant for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST).”

“In case of SC and ST reservation as their population is relatively more, then the OBCs will get a lesser percentage than 27, if given. While recommending above, we are aware that the total reservation should not exceed the 50% upper limit. The State government and the Election Commission may jointly address the remaining task and have appropriate changes in existing Laws/Rules, if necessary, so as to enforce 27% reservation, as recommended, by this Commission, for upcoming elections,” the report points out.

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