The Union Cabinet has approved the extension of the term of the Other Backward Classes(OBCs) panel headed by Justice (Retd) G. Rohini.
The panel was formed to review the creamy layer criteria for OBCs set by the Prasad Committee in 1993.
The committee is supposed to work out a mechanism,criteria,norms and parameters for the sub-categorisation within the OBCs in the Central list so that the benefits of reservation are distributed equitably.
Other Backward Class(OBC) is a collective term used by the Government of India to classify castes which are socially and educationally disadvantaged.
In 1980,Mandal Commission was set up by the erstwhile government.It estimated the OBC population at 52% and classified 1,257 communities as backward.It recommended increasing the existing quotas which were only for SC/ST,from 22.5% to 49.5% to include the OBCs.Its recommendations were implemented by the then government in 1990.
In Indra Sawhney case,the Supreme court had upheld the caste-based reservation for the OBCs as valid.The court had also said the creamy layer of OBCs should not get the benefits of reservation.
At present,27% quota in government jobs and educational institutions is given to OBCs,provided the annual income of the family is up to Rs 8 lakh.Those with higher earnings are referred to as the ‘creamy layer’ and are not eligible for reservation.
Creamy layer is a term used to refer to the relatively wealthier and better educated members of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).They are not eligible for government sponsored educational and professional benefit programs.