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Why is Karnataka government at centre of controversy over Muslim reservation in OBC quota? Know here

The NCBC said the blanket categorisation of Muslims as a backward caste undermines the principles of social justice, particularly for the marginalised Muslim castes and communities identified as socially and educationally backward.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: April 25, 2024 17:56 IST
Congress President Mallikarjun with Karnataka Chief
Image Source : PTI Congress President Mallikarjun with Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: The Congress-led Karnataka government has caught itself at the Centre of a controversy for including all castes and communities of Muslims in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category. The matter has come to the forefront amid the ongoing Lok Sabha elections when the Natioanal Commission of Backward Classes (NCBC) highlighted this  fact and said such blanket categorisation undermines the principles of social justice.

Why Congress-led Karnataka govt is at the centre of this controversy over OBC reservation?

  • There is 32 percent OBC reservation in Karnataka. It is divided into five categories including 1, 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B. Category 1 comprises of 391 castes and sub-castes, of which Muslims also have 17 castes. A total of 4 per cent reservation is available for Muslims in this category.
  • In category 2A, there are 399 castes and sub-castes and it also includes 19 castes from the Muslim community. Castes in this category are entitled for 15 per cent reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.
  • The government has created one another category which is called 2B and included all the castes and sub-castes belonging to the Muslim community. With this move, the entire Muslim community is now entitled to get 4 per cent reservation.
  • In 3A and 3B category, there is a provision of 4 per cent and 5 per cent reservation.
  • Now according to the above mentioned categories, there are a total of 883 castes and sub-castes who are entitled to get reservation in government jobs and institutions in Karnataka.

What's the impact of Karnataka govt's move on OBC reservation?

  • According to the National Commission for Backward Classes, Muslims comprises 12.92 per cent of state's population. On March 30, 2002, the then government in Karnataka had made provisions for providing reservation to Muslims in the OBC category.
  • The government had included 17 and 19 castes from the Muslim community in category 1 and 2A under the OBC quota respectively.
  • However, the government created a new category 2B in which it included all the remaining castes and sub-castes of the Muslim community.
  • With this move, the government has made provision for Muslim reservation from the designated 32 per cent OBC quota in the state.
  • In addition to this, the Backward Commission body has also said that Muslims have full authority to contest in local body elections on 32 per cent seats reserved for OBC category.
  • NCBC chairman Hansraj Ahir has informed that according to the Karnataka government, there are a total of 930 seats in PG colleges in the state out of which 150 seats have been alloted to Muslims from the OBC quota.
  • Hansraj Ahir further said that according to the rule, Muslims should get only 4 per cent seats but it has become 16 per cent. 

What Karnataka govt says?

  • NCBC chief Hansraj Ahir while speaking to a news agency said that the Karnataka government was asked to respond in this matter but they didn't recieve a proper response.
  • Karnataka goverment in its April 23 reply said that communities inlcuding Muslims and Christians are neither part of any caste or religion.
  • When Karnataka government was questioned by the NCBC that on what basis were Muslims being granted this reservation, there was no proper response in this matter.

ALSO READ | 'Islamisation of India': CM Yogi on Congress-led Karnataka govt move to include Muslims in OBC category

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