Creamy Layer Update

Hindu reports

In probably the first acceptance of the creamy layer concept by the political establishment, a Parliamentary Committee has recommended preference in reservation for the non-creamy layer of OBC candidates in government-aided institutions of higher learning.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD has recommended that the “first instance reservation should be given to the non-creamy layer of OBC candidates”. After admitting such non-creamy layer candidates, if OBC vacancies remain unfilled, these may be filled up from the creamy layer in order of merit,” the report on the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Bill 2006, placed in the Rajya Sabha said

Link via Krish.

The recommendation of the Standing Committee is exactly what I had said before.

If this suggestion is adopted it will definitely be a step in the right direction. However, I don’t know if the Supreme court can still strike it down and insist on complete exclusion of the creamy layer.

Also if this suggestion does get implemented I would recommend all the applicants from non creamy layer who do not get admission/job to make use of RTI to ensure that there was no fould play.

All in all a good suggestion.

December 3, 2006 · Ajit · 26 Comments
Posted in: Creamy Layer, Quota Reservations, Reservations

26 Responses

  1. Atlantean - December 3, 2006

    Yeah but still, I think they should exclude the creamy layer from reservations as they do at UPSC. It is hard to imagine the son of an IAS officer or a doctor facing caste discrimination.

  2. silkboard - December 4, 2006

    ours is a great democracy. slow at times, but eventually the right thing does happen.

    Reservations are needed, only a hypocrite will say no. But accepting the existence of creamy layer, and perhaps adding economic criteria to include really poor fwd castes as well will make it more acceptable to all.

    Creamy layer correction is almost happening. The second thing I mentioned may not. Tougher to implement and push through anything for fwd castes these days.

  3. realitycheck - December 4, 2006


    I am afraid this scheme is not valid and will be struck down by the courts. This requires a constitutional amendment – even that may not pass muster.

    A creamy layer OBC must be kept *out* of the reservation system altogether, this is the majority ruling in the Indira Sawhney II case and it stands till today. If there are vacant seats, the right approach is to carry them forward to the next year (if possible) or to merge them with the open competition, where everyone including OBCs can access those seats.

    On the other hand, a creamy layer SC or ST may be kept within the reservation system because the rationale for quotas for them is caste and not “social and educational backwardness”.

    In other words, creamy layer OBC makes no sense, certainly there is no case for preferential treatment to this group.

  4. Polite Indian - December 4, 2006

    I can understand what you are saying and I think it is valid in the OBC scenario.
    In case of SC/ST they still face discrimination but not to that extent as non creamy layer. The reason being they are well off to be able to fight those prejudices. Even in case of IAS officers, the officers who have used reservations are looked down upon by the fellow IAS officers. They even have their own limited social circles. It is sad but even at that level people have these prejudices. That is why I maintain that reservations may not help in getting rid of these prejudices. They may only empower enough to fight the prejudices which is still a good thing.

    Personally I don’t think reservations alone will help us remove the social and educational inequities. In fact the only reason I am supporting reservations for OBC is because I do not have an alternative solution for the short term. Even in the long term, the ability of the govt. to implement anything meaningful falls way short.
    Yes Creamy Layer Correction is happening and that is good thing. I hope the policy makers get more sensible in implementing policies of this scale.
    As for the poor fwd caste, I think they might in future fall in the educationally and socially backward section once we start defining exactly what that means. Of course, other than caste.

  5. Polite Indian - December 4, 2006

    I had the doubt and that is why I mentioned that the court might strike it down.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I would accept this current arrangement only if for some reason the creamy layer from the OBC can not be excluded.
    On a practical implementation level I have a feeling that if this suggestion is implemented, all the seats will get filled by the non creamy layer OBCs. I think there are enough candidates to do that. What do you think?

    Even if the creamy layer get excluded, I think the bigger problem will be defining the creamy layer criteria. That is so fluid(especially the income one) that it can be easily tampered with. I don’t know if the courts can do anything in suggesting a guideline for creamy layer definition.

  6. realitycheck - December 4, 2006

    >> What do you think? >>

    I think this is fraught with dangerous implications. The group “creamy layer other backward classes” makes no sense. Ignore forward castes, if you appease a dominant group with such a monumental package, others are not going to keep quiet. Muslims, Dalits, MBCs, Christians are all going to want in on the action as well. They know it is not about social justice any more.

    We need to think through what it means. It really has to do with minimum cut offs in the case of IITs and AIIMS. The higher the minimum cut off is, the more creamy layer OBCs get in. This is extremely unfair to the really backward, because according to Moily himself there is dramatic regional variation. The southern 4 states + Mah, consitute a whopping 88% of OBCs in the top two income deciles. Of this Tamilnadu alone is 45%. It is not unimaginable that the OBC cut off in IITs will be just below the merit cut off, most non-creamy layers will be excluded and thus the seats will go to the creamy layer. Is there any check against this scenario ?

    At the end of the day, the social justice policy is not about the forward castes. There must be honesty in thought and action. By inventing a new category called creamy layer OBC, the government is throwing out all possibility of any community coming out of reservations no matter how accomplished they are. You are really calling into question their genetic makeup.

  7. realitycheck - December 4, 2006

    >> don’t know if the courts can do anything in suggesting a guideline for creamy layer definition >>

    The courts will not lay down a number (for example salary) for creamy layer definition. The assumption is the state will not act in a malafide way.

    If vested interests have taken over the state, the only option is a PIL by those injured by the policy. I think there was a case (Thakur Vs State of Bihar – not sure) where the SC shot down an arbitrarily high creamy layer criteria that basically put everyone in the non-creamy layer group.

    This however takes time. The courts are there, but as you can see in the TN case, the SC has delayed a verdict allowing both 69% quota and no creamy layer identification for 16 years.

  8. Polite Indian - December 5, 2006

    Not that I support the inclusion of creamy layer but just to continue on the lines of this post…

    I understand it will come down to cut-off marks in the institutes. Let us say that if the creamy layer was excluded the cut-off will be X and if they are included the cut-off could be Y.

    If the cut-off is maintained at X even if the creamy layer is included don’t you think that the seats will get filled by non-creamy layer candidates alone?
    I guess it all depends on how the cut-off mark is arrived at.

    Now Whether the current classification of groups as OBCs is fair or not or whether some group should be classified as an OBC or not is a different issue. On that lines is it possible to actually file a case asking for removal of certain groups in certain areas from the OBC category?

  9. realitycheck - December 6, 2006

    >> On that lines is it possible to actually file a case asking for removal of certain groups in certain areas from the OBC category? >>

    I believe the burden of proof on proving that group or group(s) is over represented is on the person filing the petition before the NCBC. This is no mean task for a private citizen. I would say it is impossible due to lack of data in the public domain and it is an extremely unpleasant task for a private individual to selectively target a group.

    You are hitting at some of the core issues at play here.

  10. realitycheck - December 6, 2006

    Here is the procedure for approaching the NCBC for both under and over inclusion requests.

    Any person/organization/state approaching the NCBC must provide this kind of data.

    Cut offs depend on the exam. It could be gamed. A rigid cut off such as that for the IITs make no sense in the case of OBCs, because most OBCs will score just below the open competition. This is obvious because it is said already 20-22% OBCs get in to IITs without any reservation at all.

  11. अफ़लातून - December 17, 2006

    Son of an unreserved category officer ,professor,engineer or political leader also gets undue advantage.Nothing to stop it ! Why?

  12. Polite Indian - December 19, 2006

    Son of an unreserved category officer ,professor,engineer or political leader also gets undue advantage.Nothing to stop it ! Why?

    You are dead wrong here. Do not compare open competition with reservations for creamy layer.

  13. Apun Ka Desh - December 26, 2006

    Reservations are necessary ? hahaha.. even after 50 years of their existence, when they failed to help Short Term and Long Term.. what is the basis of saying they are good ???

    Just wait and watch out.. More reservations are coming your way by religion, by color of your skin, and what not. Sure, there will be reasons… historical bias, and so on.

    By All Means – provide Free Education, but not let the spirit of competition die down.

    Equality of Opportunity. Guarantee It. Never Equality of Results.

    Let every man get a chance at being a pilot. Let no man become a pilot by reservations. Never.

  14. Polite Indian - December 26, 2006

    Apun Ka Desh,

    I never said reservations are necessary. I don’t even claim to know if that is the right solution but in the absence of any credible alternative I am willing to go with it.
    What this post is trying to say is that if the reservations have to be implemented for OBCs and if creamy layer cannot be excluded then creamy layer should be given second preference.

  15. obc voice - January 1, 2007

    ‘If this suggestion is adopted it will definitely be a step in the right direction.’

    Why do you think it’s a step in the right direction?

  16. Polite Indian - January 2, 2007

    obc voice,

    I thought that it was clear from this and my previous posts but I will try to explain again.

    In this post I explain why creamy layer should be excluded.

    In this post I try to give this suggestion that if the creamy layer cannot be excluded then they should be given second preference.

    Given the current definition of creamy layer for OBCs I think they can only be found in the cities. These people do not face discrimination to a great extent. The non creamy layer is the one actually in need of help in the form of reservations. If the creamy layer are given second preference the non creamy layer will benefit as should be the intent of the social justice programme.

  17. obc voice - January 9, 2007

    polite indian,

    your first link – it doesn’t provide any answers. and it rests on an unproven assumption. but even if that assumption is true…it still doesn’t answer the question -why do you want the creamy layer to be excluded?

  18. Polite Indian - January 9, 2007

    obc voice,

    Creamy Layer needs to be excluded for two reasons.

    1.They are not socially and educationally backward.

    2.Their inclusion will be harmful for non creamy layer OBCs. (This is what is explained in the first link)

  19. obc voice - January 11, 2007

    what makes you draw the conclusion that they’re not socially and educationally backward?

  20. Polite Indian - January 11, 2007

    obc voice,

    I think the question should be asked the other way…How can one say that they are socially and educationally backward?

    The answer to your question lies in the definition of the creamy layer for OBCs. Take a look at the definition of creamy layer and it is immediately apparent. Sons of Judges, presidents, vice presidents, IAS/IPS/IFS officers belong to that category. How can one even think that they are backward in any way?

  21. obc voice - January 13, 2007

    polite indian,

    i’ve asked the right question, you’ve given me only half an answer.
    why do you think the so-called creamy layer needs to be excluded? if they’re not, as pointed by popular upper-caste interpretation, socially and educationally backward – why do they need to be excluded from reservations?

  22. obc voice - January 15, 2007

    Polite Indian,

    Because I view you as a blogger sincerely trying to understand this issue, and not someone prone to parading pure fiction such as ‘already 20-22% OBCs get into IITs without any reservations at all’as Reality, I’ve been trying to elicit your views on the creamy layer, which I hope might help me find an answer to the larger question as to why so many upper-caste bloggers are so focussed on the ‘creamy layer’ issue. So I hope you’d understand my persistent queries in that light and not as an effort to argue for argument’s sake.

  23. Polite Indian - January 15, 2007

    obc voice,

    This is how I look at the reservations for creamy layer OBC.

    As I see it the reservation is for socially and educationally backward classes.

    Looking at the current definition of creamy layer they do not seem backward to me at all. Now this may be a very personal perception but the category to which son’s and daughter’s of constitutional post holders(presidents, vice presidents etc.) and other professionals belong to, in my view does not and cannot face discrimination and cannot be backwards.

    My biggest concern is that It is unfair to the non creamy layer OBCs to be clubbed with creamy layer OBC.
    With the inclusion of creamy layer the biggest losers will be the non creamy layer OBCs.

    Also looking at the mechanincs it will be a good idea to exclude them. Let us say at the beginning i.e. today there is not a single OBC that belongs to the creamy layer. Over a period of time someone benefits from the reservations and enters into the creamy layer. At that point he should make way for someone else to benefit from the reservation. This is the natural way by which we will get more and more non creamy layer OBCs in the creamy layer.

    I feel if the creamy layer is not excluded it is likely that the number of OBCs in the institutes will never become more than 27%. Otherwise the number will definitely be more than 27%.

    Excluding the creamy layer from OBCs will benefit the OBCs in general. Not excluding will benefit everyone else.

  24. P Suresh - February 27, 2007

    Date: Feb 27, 2007

    Sincere prayer that:
    1) “Stay Order” be obtained immediately.
    2) “RESERVATION”, an innovation for free food for life time be DECIMATED once and for all.

    Thank You,

    P. Suresh

  25. aishwarya - June 4, 2007

    who is technically considered creamy layer ?

  26. polisa ubezpieczeniowa - October 25, 2011

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