By the 93rd Amendment Act of 2005 the state is empowered to make any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the scheduled castes or the scheduled tribes regarding their admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the state, except the minority educational institutions. In order to give effect to this provision, the Centre enacted the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, providing a quota of 27% for candidates belonging to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in all central higher educational institutions including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). In April 2008, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of both, the Amendment Act and the OBC Quota Act. But, the Court directed the central government to exclude the ‘creamy layer’ (advanced sections) among the OBCs while implementing the law.
The children of the following different categories of people belong to ‘creamy layer’ among OBCs and thus will not get the quota benefit:
- Persons holding constitutional posts like President, VicePresident, Judges of SC and HCs, Chairman and Members of UPSC and SPSCs, CEC, CAG and so on.
- Group ‘A’ / Class I and Group ‘B’ / Class II Officers of the All India, Central and State Services; and Employees holding equivalent posts in PSUs, Banks, Insurance Organisations, Universities etc., and also in private employment.
- Persons who are in the rank of colonel and above in the Army and equivalent posts in the Navy, the Air Force and the Paramilitary Forces.
- Professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers, artists, authors, consultants and so on.
- Persons engaged in trade, business and industry.
- People holding agricultural land above a certain limit and vacant land or buildings in urban areas.
- Persons having gross annual income of more than ₹8 lakh or possessing wealth above the exemption limit. In 1993, when the “creamy layer” ceiling was introduced, it was ₹1 lakh. It was subsequently revised to ₹2.5 lakh in 2004, ₹4.5 lakh in 2008, ₹6 lakh in 2013 and ₹8 lakh in 2017.
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