Government mulling ways to get over creamy layer hitch

April 15th, 2008 - 11:40 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) The government may double the income slab cut-off from the present Rs.250,000 to determine the creamy layer or the affluent among the other backward classes (OBC) so that more people can benefit from the 27 percent quota in institutes of higher learning, a senior official said Tuesday. This could be a way out instead of filing a review petition in the Supreme Court against its verdict upholding the OBC quota, while excluding from it the creamy layer, the official said.

At present, students whose parents’ annual income is above Rs.250,000 per annum are considered as from the creamy layer bracket.

“We are looking at increasing the income slab by at least double that amount, so that more and more people benefit from the OBC reservation,” a senior official in the ministry of social justice and empowerment told IANS, preferring anonymity.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh too has asserted that increasing the present income slab was the only way to address the problem.

Sources confirmed that the government has asked the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) to rework the eligibility criteria to exclude only the most socially advanced persons or sections so that more people can benefit from the reservation for the OBCs.

Sources said the NCBC has consulted various financial agencies in order to prepare a road map for implementing the new creamy layer structure.

But the NCBC has also made it clear to the government that it would take at least three to four months to come up with its new recommendations for the creamy layer.

Besides increasing the income slab, the government is likely to consider other factors such as including religious minorities and removing some of the designated persons or groups from the present creamy layer list.

The creamy layer definition is already spelt out in a 1993 government notification issued by the NCBC.

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