The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry is to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court (SC) justifying the Government’s decision to reserve seats for the so-called Other Backward Classes (OBC) in higher educational institutions under the 93rd Amendment. The Constitutional Amendment proposal was voted in December last year and passed early this year with near unanimity approving the extension of the caste-based reservation system with 27% for the OBC. The HRD Minister wants to target premier educational institutions like the Indian Institute of Technologies (IIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The Government is being sued by a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to explain the “rationale” for the extension of the 93rd Amendment for this much-criticized proposal.
The SC accepted the PIL and demanded an explanation while stopping a nation-wide strike by doctors. A similar proposal from the HRD Minister Arjun Singh to extend reservation in unaided private technical educational institutions was censured by the SC and struck down the proposal. Finally, the Government passed a new law, which itself is questionable, to get around the court ruling.