Govt announces start of 27% reservation for OBC students

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New Delhi, Apr 20 (UNI) The government tonight announced the start of 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Class students-- except from creamy layers-- in IITs, IIMs and all other Central Educational Institutions from this academic session, taking care not to reduce seats for non-beneficiaries.

The Sunday night notification by the Human Resource Development Ministry came ten days after the Supreme Court upheld a Constitutional amendment to reserve 27 per cent seats for OBCs, but excluded its creamy layer.

India's Central Educational Institutions-- universities, business and technology schools-- were directed to start seat reservation for OBC students from this academic session-- but ''ensure... that no candidate belonging to the 'creamy layer' is given the benefit.'' The notification also instructed all CIEs-- save those exempted by law-- to ensure that in doing so ''the seats available in the unreserved category are not reduced.'' The notification ended uncertainty that has marked the issue ever since HRD Minister Arjun Singh announced his intention to effect reservation for OBCs two years ago-- evoking opposition as well as criticism.

The Ministry made it clear that this reservation is ''apart from'' 15 per cent seats reserved for scheduled caste and 7.5 per cent for scheduled tribe students.

''All CEIs-- except those exempted-- have to implement the policy of reservation of 27 per cent of seats for the OBCs... from the academic session commencing this year, in accordance with the phasing of the expansion of capacity necessitated in order to ensure that the seats available in the unreserved category are not reduced,'' it said.

UNI MJ LPB BST2307

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