Published: 31st October 2018
Unrest among Rajasthan's OBC candidates aspiring for civil services, ex-Cong student leader blames 'too much' reservation
The OBC candidates are alleging that this increase in the cut-off marks is a complete violation of the reservation policy
OBC candidates in Rajasthan aspiring to apply for civil services have begun to express discontent as the new qualifying marks to make it to the Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) has been set at 99.33 per cent, which is much higher than the 76.06 per cent for general category candidates.
"I feel this is a counter effect of giving too much importance to reservation. In Rajasthan, the population of OBCs is well above 50 per cent and because there are more candidates, their cut-off is higher. This is not the first time such an incident has taken place. In 2013 and 2016 too, cut-offs for OBCs were higher than that for the general category, and at that time too they had to move the court. The court had provided interim relief but didn't provide a conclusion," says Dron Yadav, former National Office Bearer of the National Student Union of India and currently an advocate at the Rajasthan High Court.
However, there might be another angle to this entire situation. "Competition has driven up the cut-off marks for the reserved seats meant for SC/ST and OBC candidates. Even though this is has affected one sector, it will eventually affect other competitive examinations as well," says Parveen Kumar, a PhD student at Rajasthan University's Political Science Department, who is close to the ABVP wing of the varsity.
As per the law, candidates scoring more than the cut-off for the general category are not taken under reserved quota. According to a report in The Print, for some, this development is being considered as an evidence of the OBC community’s better performance in the preliminary exam conducted by Rajasthan Public Service Commission(RPSC). However, that is not what the OBC candidates think. They are alleging that this increase in the cut-off marks is a complete violation of the reservation policy and that the RPSC is trying to restrict the number of OBC selected candidates under the 26 per cent quota reserved for them.
In 2017, a bill had been passed which increased reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) from 21 per cent to 26 per cent. The community includes Gujjars and four other castes. The reservation in Rajasthan currently stands at 54 per cent defying the set ceiling of 50 per cent by the Supreme Court.
The OBC candidates allege that all the unreserved seats are being treated as reserved for the general category, they say and have moved the Rajasthan High Court against the RPSC decision.