Frequently Asked Questions on SC/ST/OBC Reservation Policy
The Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) New Delhi has issued the comprehensive F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions) on the Policy for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes as follows :
Question 1. What is the policy of the Government on reservation for SCs, STs, and OBCs?
QUESTION 2: What are the key provisions of Reservation Policy?
ANSWER : Following are the key provisions of Policy of Reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs:
QUESTION 3 : What are the relaxations available to SCs/STs?
ANSWER : The relaxations that are available for the SCs and STs in direct recruitment are as follows:
(a) Relaxation in the upper age limit by five years
(b) Exemption from payment of examination / application fees
(c). Where interview is a part of the recruitment process, SC/ST candidates should be interviewed separately
(d) Qualification regarding experience can be relaxed in respect of SC/ST candidates at the discretion of UPSC/Competent Authority:
(e) Standards of suitability can be relaxed etc.
QUESTION 4 : What are the relaxations available to OBCs?
ANSWER : Relaxations available to OBCs in direct recruitment are as follows:
QUESTION 5 : Who is an own merit candidate?
ANSWER : A candidate belonging to SC/ST/OBC who is selected on the same standards as applied to general category candidates and who appears in the general merit list is treated as own meritcandidate. Such candidate is adjusted against unreserved point of the reservation roster. Department of Personnel and Training O.M. No.36011/1/98-Estt.(Res) dated 1.7.1998 clarified that only such SC/ST/OBC candidates who are selected on the same standards as applied to general candidates shall not be adjusted against reserved vacancies. In other words, when a relaxed standard is applied in selecting on SC/ST/OBC candidate, for example in the age limit, experience qualification, permitted number of changes in written examination, extended zone of consideration larger than what is provided for general category candidates, etc., the SC/ST/OBC candidates are to be counted against reserved vacancies. Such candidates would be deemed to the unavailable for consideration against unreserved vacancies.[/expand
QUESTION 6: What is the difference between post based reservation and vacancy basedreservation?
ANSWER : Reservation to SCs, STs and OBCs prior to 2.6.1997 was implemented through vacancy based rosters in which case calculation of reserved vacancies depended on the total number of vacancies to be filled. The Supreme Court in the case of R.K. Sabharwal held that reservation in a cadre should be calculated on the basis of total number of posts in the cadre and not the vacancies. It means that if reservation for SCs is 15% and cadre strength in a grade is 100, 15 posts will be reserved for SCs i.e. at any point of time 15 posts in this cadre should be held by SCs appointed by reservation. Whenever their representation comes down, it would be completed.
QUESTION 7: What is Backlog vacancy and why are so many backlog vacancies in services ?
ANSWER : Backlog Reserved Vacancies of a category are those vacancies which were earmarked reserved for that category in and earlier recruitment year but remained unfilled in the previousrecruitment attempt on account of non-availability of suitable candidates belonging to that category and are still lying unfilled.
QUESTION 8 : Whether the ceiling of 50% reservation would apply to backlog reserved vacancies of SCs, STs and OBCs ?
ANSWER : Backlog reserved vacancies are treated as special and distinct group and ceiling of 50% reservation in a recruitment year does not apply to backlog reserved vacancies.
QUESTION 9 : What is the policy of Government about appointment of less qualified SCs, STs and OBCs candidates?
ANSWER : Instructions provide that in direct recruitment whether by examination or otherwise, if sufficient number of Scheduled Caste candidates are not available on the basis of the general standard to fill all the vacancies reserved for them, candidates belonging to this community should be selected to fill up the remaining vacancies reserved for them provided they are not found unfit for such post or posts. Thus, to the extent the number of vacancies reserved for Scheduled casts cannot be filled on the basis of general standard candidate belonging to SC community are taken by relaxed standard to make up the deficiency in the reserved quota, subject to the fitness of these candidates for appointment to the post / posts in question.
QUESTION 10 : Why there is no reservation is case of promotion with in Group A?
ANSWER : Reservation to SCs and STs is available at all levels in the matter of promotion by non-selection method. In case of promotion by selection, they get reservation up to the lowest rung of Group ‘A’. Though there is no reservation in promotion by selection within Group A. in case of promotion by selection from a Group ‘A’ post to another Group ‘A’ post having a maximum salary of Rs.18,300/- or less (in pre-revised scale) the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe officers who are senior enough in the zone of consideration for promotion so as to be within the number of vacancies for which the select list is to be drawn up, are included in that list provided they are not considered unfit for promotion. Thus sufficient care is taken to ensure that the SC/ST officers get promotion to such higher posts even if they do not meet the criterion laid down for general category candidates.
The Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney’s case had declared reservation in promotion ultra virus. However in order to continue reservation in promotion, the 77th Amendment was made to the Constitution incorporating clause (4A) in Article 16 of the Constitution which enabled the State to continue reservation in promotion. The statement of Objects and Reasons of the Constitution (Eight-Sixth Amendment) Bill which became the Constitution (77th Amendment) Act stated that the object was to continue the then existing dispensation. Since reservation in promotion was not available when promotions were made by selection within Group ‘A’ posts even before the judgment of the Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney case, the Department’s O.M. dated August 13, 1997 issued in pursuance of Article 16(4A) has restore the previously existing dispensation which did not provide for reservation in promotion by selection within Group ‘A’ posts.
QUESTION 11 : What is the objective behind the issuance of case certificates to Scheduled Casts and Scheduled Tribes?
ANSWER : The main objective of issuance of caste certificate is to facilitate access of bonafide belonging to the Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Class to the reserved posts and services under the State and other facilities provided by the State to them.
QUESTION 12 : Whether the Government have achieved the objective behind the issue of caste certificate?
ANSWER : On the basis of caste certificates, large number of reserved category candidates have been able to secure employment in Government establishments, PSUs, Banks, autonomous bodies etc, secure admissions to educational institutions and get other facilities provided by the Government to the members of Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.
QUESTION 13 : What is procedure for issuing of Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe / Other backward class certificates? Who is the competent authority to issue the same? Is any other authority other than specified, in any circumstances allowed to issue such certificates. If so, elaborate.
ANSWER : The instructions contained in this Department’s OM No.36012/6/88 Estt. (Res) dated 24.04.90 and OM No.36012/22/93 Estt(Res) dated 15.11.1993 provide the Authorities who are competent to issue to caste certificates and also the proforma. However, the Central Government accepts the certificates issued only by the following authorities in the prescribed proforma:
QUESTION 15 : What are the guidelines in case of migration of a reserved category person from one state to another State?
ANSWER : When a person migrated from the portion of the State in respect of which his community is Scheduled to another part of the same State in respect of which his community is not scheduled, he will continue to be deemed to be a member of the Scheduled Caste or the Scheduled Tribe or the Other Backward Class, as the case may be in relation to that State.
When a person who is a member from one state to another, he can claim to belong to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe only in relation to the State to which he originally belong and not in respect of the State to which he has migrated.
QUESTION 17 : What is Creamy Layer’ amongst OBCs?
ANSWER : The Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney case has upheld 27% reservation for OBCs in civil posts and services under the State subject to exclusion of socially advanced persons / sections (creamy layer ) from OBCs within 4 months from the date of judgment.
QUESTION 18 : What is the criteria of determine the ‘Creamy layer’ amongst OBCs Employees working in PSUs?
ANSWER : The criteria prescribed for determining creamy layer status of some and daughters of persons in Government service mutatis mutandis applies to the sons and daughters to persons holding equivalent or comparable posts in PSUs, Banks, Insurance Organizations, Universities etc and also holding equivalent or comparable posts and positions under private employment. The creamy layer status of the sons and daughters of employees of organizations where evaluation of the posts on equivalent or comparable basis has not been made is determined on the basis of Income/Wealth Test given in the Schedule. The income/wealth Test prescribes that the gross annual income of Rs.4.5 Lakh or above or possessing wealth above the exemption limit as prescribed in Wealth Tax Act for a period of three consecutive years would be treated to fall in creamy layer.