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CPM sings different tune on OBC quota
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 8
The CPM today made it clear that it did not support the Cabinet’s decision to include ‘creamy layer’ in OBC quota for educational institutions and that the party would raise the matter when the The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Bill, 2006, would be tabled in Parliament.

CPM leader Mohd Salim said his party did not subscribe to the views expressed by some quarters that providing quota to the higher strata of OBCs would help in creating icons that would augur well for the people in these groups.

In reply to a query, Mohd Salim said there were differences with ruling coalition and it was not that his party always agreed to the policies of the UPA.

He said the party would take a stand when the concerned Bill was debated in Parliament.

Mohd Salim said while his party remained committed to quota for all categories among SCs and STs, including the creamy layer, its policy on OBCs was different.

The Cabinet had last night rejected the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee to exclude the creamy layer from the purview of the OBC quota in government-aided institutions of higher learning.

The Cabinet decided to stick to the original Bill with the basic framework of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs. The Bill seeks to increase seats while introducing quotas in institutes like the prestigious IITs and IIMs as well as the universities

The Bill would be introduced during the current session with some minor changes. The Bill was introduced on the last day of Monsoon Session on August 25 and was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources Development, which gave its report on December 1.

The Standing Committee had recommended that the “first instance reservation should be given to the non-creamy layer of OBC candidates.” After admitting such non-creamy layer candidates, if OBC vacancies remain unfilled, these might be filled up from the creamy layer in order of merit, it said.

The standing committee backed the Moily panel’s suggestion that allowing the creamy layer the benefit of quota would work against the interests of the poorer sections of the OBCs and, thereby, defeat the underlying purpose of making higher education inclusive and equity-based.

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