Reservation to SCs, STs and OBCs : FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Policy of Reservation to SCs,
STs and OBCs:
Q1. What is the policy of the Government on reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs?
Ans: Reservation to the SCs. STs and OBCs in case of direct recruitment
on all India basis by open competition is given at the rate of 15%. 7.5% and
27% respectively. In case of direct recruitment on all India basis otherwise
than by open competition. reservation for SCS, STs and OBCs is 16.66%.
7.5% and 25.84% respectively. In case of direct recruitment to Group C
and D posts which normally attract candidates from a locality or a region,
percentage of reservation for SCs/STS is generally fixed in proportion to the
population of SCs and STs in the respective States/UTs. For OBCs it is
fixed keeping in view the proportion of their population in the concerned
State/UT and the fact that total reservation for SCs/STs/OBCs remains within
the limit of 50% and reservation for OBCs remains within the limit of 27%,
Reservation in promotion by nun-selection method is available to SCs
and the STs in all groups of services viz. A. B. C and D at the. rate of 15%
and 7.5% respectively. In case of promotion by selection method 
reservation is available upto the lowest rung of Group ‘A‘ at the same rates.
In promotion by selection to posts within Group ‘A‘ which carry an ultimate
salary of Rs. 18,300/- or less {in pre-revised scale). there is no reservation,
but the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe officers who are senior enough in
the zone of consideration for promotion so as to be within the number of
vacancies for which the select list is to be drawn up. would be included in
that list provided they are not considered unfit for promotion.
Q.2 What are the key provisions of Reservation Policy?
Ans: Following are the key provisions of Policy of Reservation for SCs,
STs and OBCs:
(i) SCs/ STs get reservation in all groups of posts under the
Government in case of direct recruitment and in case of promotions
made by non-selection method. In case of promotions made by
selection, reservation is available to them when promotions are
made in Group B, C, D posts and from Group B to the lowest rung
in Group ‘A’ posts.
(ii) SC/ST/OBC candidates appointed by direct recruitment and SC/ST
candidates also promoted on their own merit are adjusted against
unreserved posts.
(iii) In promotion by selection to posts within Group ‘A’ which carry
an ultimate salary of Rs.18.300/- or less (pre-revised), there is no
reservation, but the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe officers who
are senior enough in the zone of consideration for promotion so as
to be within the number of vacancies for which the select list is to
be drawn up. would be included in that list provided they are not
considered unfit for promotion.
(iv) There is a general ban on dereservation of posts in case of direct
recruitment.
(v) In case of direct recruitment various relaxations, like relaxations in
vge limit by 5 years: exemption from payment of
examination/application fees: relaxation in qualification of
experience at the discretion of UPSC/competent authority; relaxation
in standard of suitability, etc. are available to members of SCs and
STs.
(vi) In case of direct recruitment, OBCs get relaxation of 3 years in
upper age limit, relaxation in standards of suitability etc.
(vii) In case of promotion. zone of consideration is extended upto five
times the number of vacancies in case suitable candidates are not
available within normal zone of consideration: minimum qualifying
marks/ standards of evaluation are relaxable; upper age limit is
relaxable by five years where upper age limit for promotion is
prescribed not more than 50 years.
(viii) There is a provision of appointment of liaison officers in all
Ministries/ Departments to ensure proper implementation of
reservation policy.
Q. 3: What are the relaxations available to SCs / STs?
Ans: The relaxations that are available for the SCs and STs in direct
recruitment are as follows: –
a) Relaxation in the upper age limit by five years;
b) Exemption from payment of examination / application fees;
c) Where interview is a pan of the recruitment process. SC / ST
candidates should be interviewed separately”;
d) Qualification regarding experience can be relaxed in respect of SC /
ST candidates at the discretion of UPSC / Competent Authority;
e) Standards of suitability can be relaxed etc.
The relaxations that are available for the SCs / STs in promotions are as
follows:-
a) The zone of consideration is extended to five times the number of
vacancies in case suitable SC / ST candidates are not available within
the normal zone of consideration:
b) Minimum qualifying marks / standards of evaluation are relaxable;
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c) Upper age limit relaxable by five years where upper age limit for
promotion is prescribed not exceeding fifty years. etc.
Q4. What are the relaxations available to OBCs?
Ans: Relaxations available to OBCs in direct recruitment are as follows:
(i) Relaxation in the upper age limit by 3 years.
(ii) Qualification regarding experience can be relaxed at the
discretion of Competent Authority.
(iii) Standards of suitability can be relaxed. etc.
Q:5 Who is an own merit candidate?
Ans: A candidate belonging to SC/ST/OBC who is selected on the same
standard as applied to general category candidates and who appears in the
general merit list is treated as own merit candidate. Such candidate is
adjusted against unreserved point of the reservation roster. Department of
Personnel and Training OM. No. 36011/1/98-Estt.(Res.) dated 1-7-1998
clarifies that only such SC/ST/OBC candidates who are selected on the same
standard as applied to general candidates shall not be adjusted against
reserved vacancies. In other words. when a relaxed standard is applied in
selecting an SC/ST/OBC candidate. for example in the age limit, experience
qualification, permitted number of chances in written examination, extended
zone of consideration larger than what is provided for general category
candidates, etc., the SC/ST/OBC candidates are to be counted against
reserved vacancies. Such candidates would be deemed to be unavailable for
consideration against unreserved vacancies.
Q.6. What is the difference between past based reservation and vacancy
based reservation ?
Ans: Reservation to SCs, STs and OBCs prior to 2.07.1997 was
implemented through Vacancy based rosters in which case calculation of
reserved vacancies depended on the total number of vacancies to be filled.
The Supreme Court in the case of R.K. Sabharwal held that reservation in a
cadre should be calculated on the basis of total number of posts in the cadre
and not the vacancies. It means that if reservation for SCs is 15% and cadre
strength in a grade is 100, 15 posts will be reserved for SCs i.e. at any point
of time 15 posts in this cadre should be held by SCs appointed by reservation.
Whenever their representation comes down. it would he completed.
Q. 7: What is a Backlog vacancy and why are so many backlog
vacancies in services?
Ans: Backlog Revered Vacancies of a category are those vacancies which
were earmarked reserved for that category in and earlier recruitment year but
remained unfilled in the previous recruitment attempt on account of non-availability of suitable candidates belonging to that category and are still
lying unfilled.
As per instructions issued by the DOP&T, if sufficient number of
suitable SCs, STs and OBC candidates do not become available to fill up the
vacancies reserved for them in the first attempt of recruitment, a second
attempt is made for recruiting suitable candidates belonging to the concerned
category in the same recruitment year or as early as possible before the next
recruitment year so that backlog reserved vacancies are not created.
However, even after making such efforts the reserved vacancies are not filled
up and backlog vacancies are created which are carried forward to the subsequent
recruitment year. in which concerted efforts are made to fill up
the backlog reserved vacancies as soon as possible.
It may be observed that reason of creation of backlog reserved vacancy
is non-availability of reserved category candidates for some posts.
Q.8 Whether the ceiling of 50% reservation would apply to backlog
reserved vacancies of SCs, STs and OBCs.
Ans. Backlog reserved vacancies are treated as special and distinct group
and ceiling of 50% reservation in a recruitment year does not apply to
backlog reserved vacancies.
Q9 What is the policy of Government about appointment of less
qualified SCs, STs and OBCs candidates?
Ans: Instructions provide that in direct recruitment whether by examination
or otherwise, if sufficient number of Scheduled Caste candidates are not
available on the basis of the general standard to fill all the vacancies reserved
for them, candidates belonging to this community should be selected to fill up
the remaining vacancies reserved for them provided they are not found unfit
for such post 0r posts. Thus, to the extent the number of vacancies reserved
for Scheduled Castes cannot be filled on the basis of general standard,
candidate belonging to SC community are taken by relaxed standard to make
up the deficiency in the reserved quota. subject to the fitness of these
candidates for appointment to the post’ posts in question.
In addition to the concession referred to above, instructions further
provide that in cases where the requisite number of SC candidates fulfilling
even the relaxed standards admissible in their cases are not available to fill
the vacancies reserved for them in non-technical and quasi-technical Group C
and D services/posts required to be tilled by direct recruitment otherwise than
by written examination, the selecting authorities should. to the extent of the
vacancies reserved for SC, select for appointment the best among the SC
candidates who fulfill the minimum educational qualification laid down in the
notice for recruitment of advertisement. In order to bring such candidates to
the minimum standard necessary for the posts and for the maintenance of
efficiency of administration, they should be given in-service training.
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Where some period of experience is prescribed as an essential
qualification for direct recruitment to a post. an where, in the opinion of the
Ministry/ Department concerned, the relaxation of the experience
qualification is not inconsistement with efficiency, a provision is inserted
under the “essential qualification” in the relevant recruitment rules to the
effect that UPSC/ Competent Authority may relaxed the
experience/qualification in the ease of SC/ST/OBC candidates.
Q.10. Why there is no reservation in case of promotion within Group A ?
Ans: Reservation to SCs and STs is available at all levels in the matter of
promotion by non-selection method. In case of promotion by selection, they
get reservation up to the lowest rung of Group ‘A’. Though there is no
reservation in promotion by selection within Group A. in case of promotion
by selection from a Group ‘A’ post to another Group ‘A’ post having a
maximum salary of Rs.18,300/- or less( in pre-revised scale), the Scheduled
Caste/Scheduled Tribe officers who are senior enough in the zone of
consideration for promotion so as to be within the number of vacancies for
which the select list is to be drawn up. are included in that list provided they
are not considered unfit for promotion. Thus sufficient care is taken to ensure
that the SC/ST officers get promotion to such higher posts even if they do not
meet the criterion laid down for general category candidates.
The Supreme Court in 1ndra Sawhney’s case had declared reservation
in promotion ultra virus. However in order to continue reservation in
promotion, the 77th Amendment was made to the Constitution incorporating
clause (4A) in Article 16 of the Constitution which enabled the State to
continue reservation in promotion. The statement of Objects and Reasons of
the Constitution (Eight-Sixth Amendment) Bill which became the
Constitution (77th Amendment) Act. stated that the object was to continue the
then existing dispensation. Since reservation in promotion was not available
when promotions were made by selection within Group ‘A’ pests even before
the judgment of the Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney case, the Department’s
O.M. dated August 13, 1997 issued in pursuance of Article 16 (4A) has
restored the previously existing dispensation. which did not provide for
reservation in promotion by selection within Group ‘A‘ posts.
Q.11 What is the objective behind the issuance of caste certificates to
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes?
Ans. The main objective of issuance of caste certificate is to facilitate access
of bonafide candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribe
and Other Backward Class to the reserved posts and services under the State
and other facilities provided by the State to them.
Q.12 Whether the Government have achieved the objective behind the
issue of caste certificate?
Ans. On the basis of caste certificates, large number of reserved category
candidates have been able to secure employment in Government
establishments, PSUs, Banks. autonomous bodies etc; secure admissions to
educational institutions; and get other facilities provided by the Government
to the members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward
Classes.
Q.13 What is the procedure for issuing of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled
Tribe/Other Backward Class certificates? Who is the competent authority
to issue the same? Is any other authority other than specified, in any
circumstances alto wed to issue such certificates. If so, elaborate.
Ans. The instructions contained in this Department‘s OM No.36012/6/88-
Estt.(Res.) dated 24.4.90 and OM No.360]2/22/93_Estt.(Res.) dated
15.11.1993 provide the Authorities who are competent to issue of caste
certificates and also the proforma However, the Central Government accepts
the certificates issued only by the following authorities in the prescribed
proforma:
(1) District Magistrate / Additional District Magistrate/Collector/Deputy Commissioner/Additional Deputy Commissioner/Deputy
Collector/Ist Class stipendiary Magistrate/Sub Divisional
Magistrate/Taluka Magistrate/Executive Magistrate/Extra Assistant
Commissioner.
(2) Chief Presidency Magistrate/Additional Chief Presidency
Magistrate/Presidency Magistrate.
(3) Revenue Officer not below the rank of Tehsildar and
(4) Sub-Divisional Officer of the area where the candidate and /or his
family normally resides.
Q.14 What are the guidelines that have been issued to the appointing
authorities in regard to scrutiny and verification of caste certificates of
candidates at the time of their entry into Government service? Whether the
present guidelines on the subject are fool proof so that genuine SC/S T are
not deprived of their Constitutional rights.
Ans. The Government of India has issued instructions regarding scrutiny
and verfication of the caste certificates of the candidates at the time of initial
appointment and at every important upturn of employee’s career. This
Department re-iterated the instructions @ OM. No.3601 1/3/2005-Estt.
(Res) dated 9th  September 2005.
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Q.15 What are the guidelines in case of migration of a reserved category
person from one state to another State?
Ans. When a person migrates from the portion of the State in respect of
which his community is Scheduled to another part of the same State in
respect of which his community is not scheduled. he will continue to be
deemed to be a member of the Scheduled Caste or the Scheduled Tribe or the
Other Backward Class. as the case may be in relation to that State;
When a person who is a member from one State to another, he can claim
to belong to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe only in relation to the
State to which he originally belonged and not in respect of the State to which
he has migrated.
Q.16 What action is taken when complaints are received about the
genuineness of caste certificate once the appointments have been given or
on detection of a prima-facie case of a false SC/ST certificate at any stage
of employment? Is there a set procedure to be folio wed for punishing such
an employee?
Ans. The instructions contained in The Department of Personnel &
Training’s O.M.No.11012/7/91-Estt.(A) dated 19-5-93 provide that wherever
it is found that a Government servant. who was not qualified or eligible in
terms of the recruitment rules etc. for initial recruitment in service or had
furnished false information or produced a false certificate in order to secure
appointment, he should not be retained in service. If he is a probationer or a
temporary Government servant. he should be discharged or his services
should be terminated. If he has become a permanent Govt. Servant, an
inquiry as prescribed in Rule 14 of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965 may be held and
if the charges are proved, the Government servant should be removed or
dismissed from service. In no circumstances should any other penalty be
imposed. Necessary action may also be taken under the provisions of the IPC
for production of false certificates.
Q. 17 What is ‘Creamy Layer’ amongst OBCs?
Ans. The Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney ease has upheld 27% reservation
for OBCs in civil posts and services under the State subject to exclusion of
socially advanced persons/ sections (creamy layer) from OBCs within 4
months form the date of judgment.
2. Following the above judgment of the Supreme Court, the Government
had constituted an Expert Committee to make recommendations on the socio-economic criteria to be adopted for excluding the creamy layer amongst
OBCs. The report of the Expert Committee was considered and accepted by
the Government and the categories of the persons,” selections to be excluded
from the purview of reservation orders for OBCs were notified in the
Schedule to the OM dated 8.9.1993 issued by this Department. Initially, the
Income limit of ‘creamy layer’ vide the aforesaid OM for exclusion of reservation
was fixed Rs.1 Lakh.
3. Last time, this income ceiling was revised from Rs.2.5 lakh to 4.5 lakh OM No.36033/3/2004-Est(Res) on 14.10.2008.
Q.18 What is the criteria to determine the ‘ereamy layer’ amongst OBCs
Employees working in PSUs ?
Ans. The criteria prescribed for determining creamy layer status of some
and daughters of persons in Government service mutatis mutandis applies to
the sons and daughters of persons holding equivalent or comparable posts in
PSUs, Banks, Insurance Organisations. Universities etc. and also holding
equivalent or comparable posts and positions under private employment. The
creamy layer status of the sons and daughters of employees of organizations
where evaluation of the posts on equivalent or comparable basis has not been
made is determined on the basis of ‘Income/ Wealth Test’ given in the
Schedule. The income! wealth Test prescribes that the gross annual income
of Rs.4.5 lakh or above or possessing wealth above the exemption limit as
prescribed in Wealth Tax Act for a period of three consecutive years would be
treated to fall in creamy layer.

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