Article 16(4) of the Constitution enables provision of reservation to Backward Class of citizens, who are not adequately represented in the State. Reservation is provided to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) through executive instructions issued from time to time, which has force of law, as held by the Supreme Court in Indira Sawhney case.
As per extant instructions, reservation is provided to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes at the rate of 15%, 7.5% and 27%, respectively, in case of direct recruitment on all-India basis by open competition. In case of direct recruitment on all-India basis otherwise than by open competition, the percentage fixed is 16.66%, 7.5% and 25.84%, respectively.
As per information received from 71 Ministries/Departments, the representation of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes in the posts and services under the Central Government as on 01.01.2014 is 17.35%, 8.38% and 19.28%, respectively.
While the representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is as per the prescribed percentage, the representation of Other Backward Classes is less than the prescribed percentage due to the following reasons:-
(i) Reservation for Other Backward Classes started only from the year 1993.
(ii) OBC candidates who are appointed upto 1993, that is before introduction of reservation for OBCs, are not included for counting their representation;
(iii) There is generally a time gap between occurrence of vacancies and filling up such vacancies, as recruitment is a time consuming process.
Based on recommendations of a Committee headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, time bound action plan for filling up backlog reserved vacancies has been intimated to all concerned Departments/Ministries on 20.11.2014 for filling up such vacancies by August 2016. The Action Plan includes study of reasons for non-filling of backlog reserved vacancies, review of prescribed standards, if required; conducting Special Recruitment Drive and conducting pre-recruitment training programmes.
This was stated by the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Dr. Jitendra Singh in a written reply to a question by Shri Laxmi Narayan Yadav and Shri Harishchandra Chavan in the Lok Sabha today.