Published On: Fri, Jul 1st, 2011

HRD plans to challenge SC order on OBC quota

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HRD minister Kapil Sibal has said the government is considering approaching the apex court seeking a review of a ruling that bars admission of OBC students with marks lower than 10% less than the last general category candidate selected. The ministry is also planning to challenge a 2008 Supreme Court ruling that the government holds responsible for unintentionally handing over quota seats meant for the Other Backward Classes to general category students at institutions such as Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

It is to be noted that only a seven judge bench can change the ruling, made by a five judge bench.

“The high cutoffs at universities like DU, along with the 10% ruling, make it very hard for OBC students to fill seats due to them. We are very concerned and I am considering going to the court. I will also be speaking to the DU vice-chancellor,” Sibal said.

Government’s immediate reaction on the issue came after SC hearing took place on a petition accusing the DU and the Jawaharlal Nehru University of wasting OBC quota seats, denying students from these communities the opportunities the 27% OBC reservation law is meant to offer. Only 3,158 out of the 7,059 OBC quota seats at the DU were filled last year. The vacant seats go to general category candidates under another SC ruling – which the government is not challenging.

Since OBC students who score higher than the general category cutoff obtain general category seats, the 27% seats reserved for students from these communities must be filled by those who obtain marks in a 10% band below the score of the last selected general category candidate.

[Source: Hindustan Times]