New Delhi, Jun 4 (UNI) The Centre may soon come out with a fresh definition of the creamy layer among the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in order to include maximum number of people belonging to these groups in the ambit of reservation.
The National Commission for Backward Classes(NCBC) has expedited its work on revising the existing ceiling for income and wealth to redefine creamy layer, calling next week a meeting of chairmen of state backward classes commission here to discuss the matter and arrive at a final view.
''The meeting has been called to ascertain the views of state chairmen and also of state principal secretaries so as to arrive at a conclusion soon,'' Commission Secretary Lakshmi Chand told UNI today.
''We will send our final opinion in the matter to the Government by the end of this month, '' he added.
The Commission had last month brought out a public notice to invite public views on what the revised limits should be.
The Supreme Court, while upholding the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions had recently asked the Government to exclude the creamy layer, following which demands were made from several political parties and other organisations to increase the income limit for determining the layer.
Even before the SC judgement came on the contentious issue in March, the Government had entrusted the job of revising the creamy layer to the NCBC.
The decision of the Human Resource Development Ministry in 2006 to extend 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in institutions of higher learning like the IITS and IIMs had evoked countrywide protests from some quarters, following which the Centre had appointed an oversight committee on implementation of quota in these institutions.
The committee headed by Mr Veerappa Moily, suggested an increase in the general seats so as not to harm the prospects of general category candidates.
After the Moily Committee Report, Parliament passed a legislation for extending the reservation which became an Act on January one, 2007.
However, the Act was immediately challenged in court, which stayed its operation. In March this year, Supreme Court in its final judgement upheld the Act, but said the creamy layer should be excluded from the benefit.
While some were expecting the government to file a review petition, it chose to go in for a redefinition of the creamy layer instead, which was demanded from various other quarters.
The existing ceiling is at Rs 2.5 lakh per year. However, a number of political leaders and OBC representatives feel that the cut-off slab was not realistic in view of the sharp increase in the cost of living in recent years.
UNI NAZ PK KN1523