In a politically significant move, the UPA government has expanded the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) list ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The Union Cabinet on Thursday added 115 new castes from 13 states, including Goa, Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, to the central OBC list.
According to the Cabinet note, the central list was amended on the recommendation of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) whose advice is binding on the government as per the NCBC Act enacted in 1993 in pursuance to a Supreme Court judgment in the famous Indira Sawhney case.
The new castes and communities so included in the list will be able to avail benefits of reservation in government services and posts as well as in central educational institutions, besides the benefits of various welfare schemes, scholarships, etc of the Centre.
The amendment entails them to seek reservation benefits in central sector jobs. They will also become eligible for benefit under various welfare schemes, scholarships, etc being administered by the Central Government, which are at present available to persons belonging to the OBCs. Altogether 2343 communities are notified in the Central list.