//Mandal mooted a separate ministry for OBCs

Mandal mooted a separate ministry for OBCs

But the Central government, for its own reasons, disregarded other recommendations and chose to take only the quota route

New Delhi: The UPA government, set to push OBC quotas into centres of excellence, has junked many important recommendations of the Mandal Commission that could have brought about a real change in the condition of other backward classes (OBC) in the country.

The Commission, set up in December 1978, recommended structural reforms in agriculture sector, separate ministry and departments for OBCs at the Centre and in states, financial assistance to OBCs to set up small-scale industries, separate government hostels for OBC students besides reservation for OBCs in its it submitted two years later.

While the government implemented reservation for OBCs in the government jobs, it made no effort to transform the agriculture sector.

"The most important single step suggested by the Commission was reforms in agriculture sector. But the government wants to implement personal agenda. Arjun Singh is a raja. His heart does not bleed for OBCs," says former chairman of Prasar Bharati board S S Gill, who also served as secretary to the Backward Classes Commission, popularly known as the Mandal Commission.

Gill supports reservation for the OBCs but would also want the government to take other steps.

Mandal proposed:

• 27 pc OBC quota in govt and private sector

• Educational concessions for OBCs

• Financial aid to them in setting up small-scale industries

• Structural changes in agriculture sector

• Separate OBC ministry at the Centre and in states


Narendra Kaushik, Mumbai Mirror, MUMBAI, Tuesday, May 30, 2006