T.N. for continuing existing policy on OBC creamy layer

Chief Minister and DMK chief Stalin write to PM

Opposing any revision of the criteria for determining creamy layer among Other Backward Classes (OBCs) by including salary and agricultural income, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to continue with the existing policy on the issue.

In a letter to the PM, Mr. Palaniswami referred to media reports that the Centre was contemplating a revision of the criteria for determining the creamy layer among OBCs by including salary and agricultural income. “If salary and agricultural income of the parents are considered to be part of the overall income of the parents, this would disallow OBC status to several deserving OBCs candidates from availing reservation in admissions to jobs, as well as welfare schemes under the Central government,” he said. Mr. Palaniswami requested the PM to continue the existing policy of determining the creamy layer by excluding agricultural and salary income.

He suggested that the Centre may “consider providing OBC reservations by following the Tamil Nadu model, which would benefit the Backward Classes across the country equitably and render complete social justice.”

The Centre has reserved 27% of the vacancies in civil posts and services falling under its purview for the OBCs to be filled through direct recruitment, subject to the condition that the aforesaid reservation shall not be applied to persons/sections specified as a creamy layer from amongst OBCs.

There are six criteria for assessing the persons to be excluded as a creamy layer within OBCs. One of the creamy layer criteria specifies the income limit for exclusion from OBCs. The income limit of the parents for the wards to whom OBC status could be claimed, was fixed at ₹1 lakh per annum initially in 1993. Subsequently, the income limit was revised to ₹8 lakh with effect from September 2017.

Stalin writes to PM

DMK president M.K. Stalin on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give up the proposal to include salary as part of income to determine the creamy layer among Other Backward Classes (OBCs). He also demanded abolition of the All India Quota for medical courses and the NEET.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Stalin urged him to ensure that the interests of the OBCs were protected. “With the country being in such a precarious situation with the pandemic, inequalities are only going to be exacerbated. It is very difficult to continue with the policies that only work to maintain existing inequalities or increase it,” he said.

He reiterated that the underlying factor behind reservation was social and educational backwardness, not economic backwardness. “Economic criterion is against the spirit of reservation. That is the reason why it has not found a place in our Constitution when it comes to reservation. Including salary to be part of the income to categorise the creamy layer within OBCs ignores the social barriers that continue to exist for marginalised communities in India,” he argued.

Mr. Stalin opposed the All India Quota admissions in medical courses, saying that the idea conceived by the Supreme Court in 1984 did not have any statutory backing. “After 36 years, the need for such a quota is no longer relevant owing to the increased number of medical colleges in every State. Medical education being squarely a matter of governance should be administered by the Parliament and the State Legislature, taking into account the changing needs,” he said.

He said the introduction of NEET had caused serious problems to medical education in Tamil Nadu because it had decimated the right of the State to regulate medical education.

“The NEET obviously places those who studied in CBSE schools at an advantage than those who study in State board schools. From the experience of the last three years of the NEET, it is clear that only students who are able to go for private coaching are able to score in this examination. These private coaching classes are unaffordable for many students,” he said.

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