Equivalence of posts in Central Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), Banks, Insurance Institutions with Posts in Government

In news:

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the norms for establishing equivalence of posts in Government and posts in PSUs, PSBs etc. for claiming benefit of OBC reservations.

Highlights:

  • This addresses an issue pending for nearly 24 years.  This will ensure that the children of those serving in lower categories in PSUs and other institutions can get the benefit of OBC reservations, on par with children of people serving in lower categories in Government.
  • This will also prevent children of those in senior positions in such institutions, who, owing to absence of equivalence of posts, may have been treated as non Creamy Layer by virtue of wrong interpretation of income standards from cornering government posts reserved for OBCs and denying the genuine non creamy layer candidates a level playing field.
  • The Union Cabinet also approved the increase in the present income criterion of Rs. 6 lakh per annum for applying the Creamy Layer restriction throughout the country, for excluding Socially Advanced Persons/Sections (Creamy Layer) from the purview of reservation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The new income criterion will be Rs. 8 lakh per annum.
  • The increase in the income limit to exclude the Creamy Layer is in keeping with the increase in the Consumer Price Index and will enable more persons to take advantage of reservation benefits extended to OBCs in government services and admission to central educational institutions.
  • All these decisions, taken together, are expected to ensure greater representation of OBCs in educational institutions and jobs, while also ensuring that the more under-privileged within the category are not denied their chance of social mobility.

Background:

  • In its judgment  in WP(C) 930/1990 (IndraSawhney case) in 1992, the Supreme Court had directed the Government to specify the basis, for exclusion of socially and economically advanced persons from Other Backward Classes by applying the relevant and requisite socio-economic criteria.
  • An Expert Committee was constituted in February 1993 which submitted its report specifying the criteria for identification of socially advanced persons among OBCs i.e. the Creamy Layer. The report was accepted by the then Ministry of Welfare and forwarded to DoPT which issued an OM dated on exclusion from the Creamy Layer.
  • The OM issued in 1993 specifies six categories for identifying Creamy Layer (a) Constitutional/Statutory post (b) Group  ‘A’  and Group ‘B’ Officers of Central and State Governments, employees of PSUs and Statutory bodies, universities, (c) Colonel and above in armed forces and equivalent in paramilitary  forces (d) professionals like Doctors, Lawyers, Management Consultants, Engineers etc. (e) Property owners with agricultural holdings or vacant land and/or buildings  and (f) income/wealth tax assessed.
  • The OM further stipulates that the said parameters would apply mutatis mutandis to officers holding equivalent or comparable posts in PSUs, Banks, Insurance Organizations, Universities, etc. and Government was required to determine equivalence of positions in these organizations with those in Government.
  • However, this exercise of determining the equivalence of posts in Government and posts in PSUs, PSBs etc. had not been initiated. The determination of equivalence of posts has been thus pending for almost 24 years.
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