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The Quota Kerfuffle in Karnataka


At the Cabinet meeting in Karnataka, the BJP government did away with the nearly three-decade-old 4% reservation for Muslims in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category and distributed it equally among the Veerashaiva-Lingayats and Vokkaligas, two dominant land-owning communities in the State, at 2% each.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions Of the Article:

  1. How has OBC and SC reservation changed?
  2. How are Muslims losing out?

How has OBC and SC reservation changed?

  • The Cabinet decided to exclude Muslims from the OBC category and scrapped the 4% reservation given to them under Category 2B.
  • This has been divided equally among Vokkaligas and Veerashaiva-Lingayats for whom new categories of 2C and 2D have been created respectively.
  • Following the change, the reservation quantum for Vokkaligas and others in the group went up from 4% to 6% and for Veerashaiva-Lingayats and others in the group, from 5% to 7%.
  • Earlier, the two communities were under 3A and 3B respectively, which stand scrapped.
  • The Cabinet also recommended internal reservation among the 101 SCs, a long pending demand of the SC (left) faction to the Union Government.
  • Of the 17% reservation given to SCs in Karnataka, it has sliced up 6% to SC (left), 5.5% to SC (right), 4.5 % to SC (touchable) and 1% to SC (others).
  • While the basis for internal reservation was the recommendation of the A. J. Sadashiva Commission report of 2012 when reservation to SCs was pegged at 15%, the Government has adjusted the share, based on a Cabinet sub-committee report, as per the new reservation quota that has been hiked to 17%.

How are Muslims losing out?

  • The BJP, which does not count Muslims among its voter base, has scrapped the reservation for Muslims, arguing that backward classes reservation is not based on religion.
  • Since 1995, the community has been given 4% reservation under Category 2B on grounds of being socially and educationally backward.
  • Since the community has now lost its social and educational backwardness reservation status, it can claim reservation under the 10% quota for Economically Weaker Sections.
  • This change has to be approved by the Centre.
  • However, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists and converted Christians continue to remain in the backward classes category.
  • Also, nomadic Muslims in Category 1 continue to remain there.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023