Creamy layer category under OBC quota

Reservation : All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)

SC pulls up government on quota in IITs, IIMs

New Delhi, October 16
In spite of the Veerappa Moily committee recommending the implementation of the 27 per cent OBC quota at institutes of higher learning in a phased manner from June 2007, the government today told the Supreme Court that it would not be implemented unless a law was passed by Parliament.

Referring to the affidavit filed by the Centre in response to various petitions challenging the government decision to extend 27 per cent reservation for OBCs, Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam said unless there was a law, it would not be enforced.

A statement about the non-implementation of reservation came from the government counsel after a Bench of Mr Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta found several deficiencies in its affidavit and pointed out that the Centre did not have any data on OBCs and it was still being collected.

As Mr Subramaniam said the Bill was introduced in Parliament on August 24 and had been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee, the report of which was expected by the winter session, scheduled from November 27, the court stated that the findings of the committee be placed on record in a sealed cover before December 4, the next date of hearing.

At one stage, the court recorded in its order that it was requesting Parliament not to take any steps on the Bill till the matter was examined by it, but such a direction was deleted after Mr Subramaniam objected to it. He said such a direction would have wide impact as it was the prerogative of the legislature to consider any issue.

The court consequently ordered deletion of the paragraph.

 Anti-quota protest whips up violence
New Delhi, August 24: Seeking the intervention of the apex court, the striking doctors and students took their agitation to the SC, where they clashed with the police. A scuffle broke out when the police tried to stop the doctors and students from entering the Supreme Court premises. 
Five doctors, including two lady doctors were injured, when police used water canons to disperse the agitators. 
The run-in with the police happened when doctors broke a police barricade. Police had two water tankers on the ready.
More than 3,000 doctors from various government hospitals – AIIMS, MAMC, Hindu Rao and UCMS - went on a mass casual leave on Thursday protesting the Centre's decision to introduce reservation in government-aided educational institutions. 
Medical students too, are boycotting all classes. 
AIIMS officials said healthcare services in the hospital were not affected as faculty members and consultants were running the OPDs and emergency and casulty wards were also functioning. 
"We have a contingency plan to meet any eventuality," AIIMS spokesman Shakti Gupta said. 
However, the process may go slow as only 500 faculty members and 300-odd residents are expected to be on duty. In order to cope with the mass absenteeism, authorities also stopped the OPD registration at 10 am instead of the usual 11 am. 
Besides the sit-in demonstration, medicos and students will also form a human chain outside the Supreme Court demanding its intervention to stop the government from going ahead with tabling of the Bill. 
"We had called off the stir earlier after the Supreme Court intervened. The apex court should now tell the government as well to reconsider the decision as the matter is subjudice," said Anil Sharma, spokesperson of the AIIMS resident doctors' association, said.

Quota row goes to court, SC will hear PIL today
NEW DELHI, MAY 29.2006.
NEW DELHI: The Centre on Sunday bowed to the relentless pressure from striking medicos to make fresh concessions, but failed to get the protesters to call off the fortnight-long strike which has crippled health services across the country and is fraught with the risk of becoming the catalyst for a larger anti-quota movement. 

In fact, the agitation was threatening to spread with Delhi Medical Association calling for private practitioners to stop work on Wednesday, and large sections of students in JNU set to launch an indefinite hunger strike from Monday, in defiance of the stand of the Marxist-controlled students’ union. 

Coming hot on the heels of IIT students joining forces with medicos, the agitation seemed to be gaining fresh momentum, belying signs over the weekend that fatigue and the realisation about the irreversibility of OBC quota might lead them to opt for a settlement soon. 

Anxious to resolve the stalemate, government on Sunday made the most categorical-ever commitment, in fact a written pledge, that the number of general-category seats would not be reduced after 27% quota came in force from June 2007. It also promised not to penalise the agitators. Likewise, it sought to allay suspicions that expansion of the infrastructure may get consigned to the backburner by naming Congress leader and former Karnataka chief minister, Veerappa Moily, as the head of the proposed Oversight Committee which will oversee the exercise. 

The formal announcement about its already-known move to raise the retirement age of professors from 60 to 65 seemed to have been motivated by the same concern. 

Further, the Centre said that it was open to the demand by the striking medicos for an expert committee or commission to look at the country’s reservation policy
The writ petition has been filed by Ashoka Kumar Thakur, Supreme Court senior counsel who also argued in the Mandal case for fixing economic criteria, resulting in the creamy layer. It’s listed for hearing tomorrow before the vacation bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Lokeshwar Singh Panta. 

In his petition, Thakur said: “Affirmative action by the Government to remove discrimination, inequality and disparity is quite an important step in a healthy democracy. But recent developments in this context, which infringe fundamental and legal rights of the larger section of citizens, create social upheaval, anarchy, chaos and unrest leading to an adverse law and order situation, when the issue of reservation is already settled by Supreme Court, requires to be judicially reviewed in the interest of equity, justice and fair play.” 

“The last caste census was done in 1931” and “all census since 1951 have break-up of population based on religion only” not caste. Referring to the Constitution which provided reservation for only SC/STs and that too for a period of 10 years commencing 1951, the petitioner contended that the SC/ST reservation of 15 and 7.5 per cent respectively “has been extended indefinitely” and now, another “new section” of the citizenry, OBC, not sanctioned by the Constitution, has been added “with a political view”. 

Thakur, in his petition, has quoted Jawaharlal Nehru, saying he had opposed continuation of reservation “as a principle” in 1961. The petition refers to the Kaka Kalekar Committee which in the 1950s had “enumerated approximately 1,200 OBC castes” and the Mandal Commission which listed some 2,200 castes as OBCs “based on social and economic criteria”. 

According to the petition, the OBC list has been increased further with some 3,200 castes being included. 

“Mandal Commission had fixed OBC population in India at 52% based on fictitious data. In case we add SC/ST (24.4%), Muslims (13%), Christians (2.4%) and Sikh, upper caste population in India should be only 6% which is quite ridiculous,” it stated. 

Moily to head oversight committee, Plan panel to work on policy for talented faculty 

• Former Karnataka CM Veerappa Moily will be chairman of oversight committee to implement quota, expand intake and infrastructure 

• Secretaries of Planning, Finance, Agriculture, Health, Education will be members of committee 

• Separate sub-committees will look into each stream of education 

• Govt to explore option of using state run hospitals for new courses, start faculty recruitment, extend retirement age to 65 

• On students’ demand for review committee, Union Minister Oscar Fernandes says “govt has taken note of this demand and will get it examined” 

• Planning Commission looking at major “structural changes” in education system, will work on long-term policy of bringing in talented faculty 

The row over 27 per cent OBC reservation in premier educational institutions is all set to take a legal turn with a PIL being filed in the Supreme Court, seeking to quash the proposed quota law and the Constitutional amendment. The court’s vacation bench will hear the PIL tomorrow

Quota to be implemented in one go: Arjun
Thursday, May 25, 2006
NEW DELHI: In contrast to Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal's remark that the 27 per cent quota for OBCs will be implemented in phases from the next academic session, Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh has said it will be done "in one go". 

"The 27 per cent reservation for OBCs will be implemented in one go from 2007," he said in an interview to 'Awaaz', according to a press release issued on Thursday by the TV news channel. 

Singh said the quota will be applied to existing number of seats in all centrally aided educational institutes. 

He also said "there is no relation between reservation and increasing number of seats". 

Singh also said the HRD Ministry will send its final proposal on reservation to the union cabinet in next ten days. 

For this, a bill will be brought in the monsoon session of Parliament, the Minister said adding he expected the bill to be passed by August 31. 

Singh said no compensation would be given to private colleges against reservation but state governments were advised to impose reservation in private institutes

Medicos turn down Kalam’s appeal

New Delhi, May 25
The President’s appeal to medicos to call off their fast, like the Prime Minister’s before him, has met the same response. Agitating students are unyielding. The stir against reservation, they say, will not die down even as it has had a crippling effect on health services.

Having met the President this afternoon, the protesting medicos, under the banner of the Youth for Equality, have reiterated their demands and refused to call off their agitation, which entered its 12th day today. 

With senior faculty members having gone on mass casual leave and the resident doctors refusing to hold parallel OPDs, health services in the city’s hospitals have been severely affected. 

While the President, known for his popularity with students, tried to persuade the medicos to resume their duties on the assurance that the government would be increasing the number of seats to protect the interests of all sections, the students remained unconvinced.

“Till we get the assurance that there will be a review of the existing policy, we will not call off the agitation,” said members of the Youth for Equality. 

The delegation, which submitted a memorandum to the President demanding setting up of a non-political judicial committee and a white paper on reservation, have urged for the exclusion of the creamy layer from the quota policy. They have also appealed for no action to be taken against the striking doctors and students.

Upset by the government’s repeated refusal to reconsider its decision of extending reservation, the students have begun preparations for a “more large-scale protest”.A massive rally, ‘Dilli aao desh bachao andolan’ called for May 27, which will be attended by people from the neighbouring states as well, shutting down regular and parallel OPDs, mass leave by senior doctors who had been chipping in for the resident doctors on strike are some of the steps that form their bulwark against reservation.

And while the strike has left the patients in a quandary, the protesters are gaining support from unlikely quarters. A group of devotional singers from a gurdwara in Defence Colony has been singing hymns to keep up the morale of the agitators, shopkeepers have pulled down the shutters of their respective shops in support of the medicos. The most extraordinary has been the support from the masses, including senior citizens, who arrive despite the intense summer heat.

“We are not satisfied by the government’s plan of increasing seats, it will be a long-drawn process. We want to awaken this government to the fact that the present reservation policy is flawed”, said members of the Youth for Equality.

“The government is not interested in coming clean on the issue, it has accepted in the Supreme Court that there is no data on how many people qualify through the general category. We have been repeating that we are not against reservation, we are against its improper implementation”, said Sasmit Sarangi of the group.

Reservation row: Delhi medical students launch indefinite stir
Friday, May 12, 2006
NEW DELHI: Unhappy over not receiving an assurance from the Government on the issue of reservation in institutions of higher learning, medical students of Delhi Friday went on an indefinite strike and demanded that the controversial proposal be immediately withdrawn. 

The students had earlier announced that they would wait till the Assembly election process was over for an assurance from the Government on the issue, failing which they would intensify their agitation. 

"We had given the Government time till May 12, 24 hours more after the election process was over, to give us an assurance in the matter. Now, we have no option left but to go on an indefinite strike," said Amitasha, a student of Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC). 

Around 500 students from the medical colleges of Delhi planned to take out a march to press for their demands. 

"We demand a statement on the issue from the Prime Minister. Nothing less than that will do," said Sujit Shukla, a student of Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College. 

Belonging to the five premier medical colleges - LHMC, VMMC, AIIMS, Univeristy College of Medical Sciences, MAMC – of the capital, the students were already boycotting classes to protest the Government's proposal for introducing reservation for OBCs in elite institutions for higher education and in Central universities. 

I am not against reservation: Kapil Sibal
Saturday, April 29, 2006
New Delhi, April 29: As his remarks in Hannover caused flutters in the party and government, Science And Technology Minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday dismissed reports that he was against reservation 

“Show me a single statement that I have made against reservation or OBC quota,” Sibal, who is currently in Tunis, said. 

He said what he had said was that India must continue to have competitive edge because the world is looking towards it for high quality human resource. 

“I am of the opinion that in areas of research and development and in achieving excellence we should not dilute our ability to globally compete and lead the world,” Sibal said. “Excellence is not against reservation. You can achieve both things. You can have a reservation policy and still have excellence,” he said. 

Sibal was part of the high-level Indian delegation which accompanied Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his recent visit to Germany, and his statement in Hannover that nothing should be done in law that may compromise on India’s industrial-global competitiveness caused controversy in the backdrop of the raging debate on the quota issue. 

Noting that he had not made any reference to the proposal of HRD Minister Arjun Singh, he dismissed as ‘nonsense’ reports that his statement abroad was a reflection of the Prime Minister’s concerns over the reservation issue. 

Seeking to remove the misconceptions about his remarks at Hannover, he said when a television anchor asked him on camera if his references were pointed at the reservation policy he had replied in the negative. 

“In this century, power will not flow from the barrel of a gun, but levels of excellence achieved in laboratories,” he said adding that institutions of excellence where India is going to compete with the world are in areas like atomic energy, nanotechnology, biotechnology and institutions where ‘we create knowledge and producers of knowledge’

Mandal II: Arjun Singh agrees to meet medical students 
Thursday, April 27, 2006
NEW DELHI: Under attack over his controversial proposal for reservation for OBCs in elite educational institutions, HRD minister Arjun Singh on Thursday said he was ready to meet the agitating medicos but expressed his inability to talk on the reservation issue due to Election Commission directives. 

"I was pained by the news that a number of students of medical colleges wanted to meet me (on the reservation issue) and were not allowed to come and see me." 

"Unfortunately, because of the directions of the Election Commission I am not in a position to interact with them and I have to maintain silence till the elections are over," he said in a statement. 

Scuffles broke out between students and the police yesterday as hundreds of medicos marched towards Singh's Akbar Road residence. Police fired tear gas shells and water canons to disperse the students, who had not taken prior permission. 

Asserting that he was open to meet anybody who came to meet him, Singh said "of course there has to be some limitations on the numbers." "Still if anybody wants to meet me, I have no hesitation to meet them as may be requested," he said. 

Ministry sources said Singh has asked the Delhi Police to remove deployment of forces near his residence here. 

Students and interns of five medical colleges in the capital went on an indefinite strike today protesting against the proposed move to increase OBC quotas in educational institutions. 

Sibal says no to quota hike in colleges
 April 26
Indicating stiff opposition to HRD Minister Arjun Singh’s proposal for hiking the reservation of seats in higher educational institutions like IIMs and IITs, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal today said, “Nothing should be done that will have a negative impact on India’s ability to compete in the world”.

In an interaction with Indian mediapersons covering the Hannover Fair, the Science and Technology Minister indicated clearly how strong his opposition was to the proposal of the HRD Minister to hike the reservation of seats in the higher educational institutions to 49 per cent.

“No policy should be taken which will dilute the levels of excellence in our research and development and educational institutions. When the West is looking to us for excellence, we should do nothing that will work as a dampener”,' Mr Sibal said.

His remarks against reservation in colleges and universities came close on the heels of the government giving a burial to the proposal for reservation of employment for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in private sector.

Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath had said earlier here that his ministry would come up with a new investment policy that would obviate the need for reservation in jobs.


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