Creamy layer tag deprives PSU wards of civil services

NEW DELHI: The concept of "creamy layer" for one group of OBCs — wards of employees of PSUs — continues to be muddled. In keeping with past years, the government has again deprived reservation benefits to 29 successful OBCs in UPSC examinations for elite services like the IAS and IPS.

Twelve OBCs were left out of the UPSC list in 2012, 11 in 2015 and four in earlier years, as per the figures compiled by the aggrieved group.

Crucially, the axe on these OBCs this year comes despite a Delhi high court judgment in March which slammed the Centre’s method of calculating the "creamy layer" for wards of employees of PSUs.

At the heart of the controversy lies what has been termed "hostile discrimination". "Creamy layer" identifies the better off individuals among OBCs, ineligible for Mandal reservations.

However, the Centre in recent years has resorted to different methods to calculate "creamy layer" for employees of central and state governments, and of PSUs.

According to government guidelines, while Group A and Group B are ineligible for Mandal quotas, others are eligible if their annual income from other sources does not exceed Rs 8 lakh. Importantly, the annual income does not include salaries of parents.

While Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has been determining the "creamy layer" for PSU background by including the parents’ salaries, it has been excluding the salaries of parents employed in central or state governments — putting the first category at a disadvantage.

Disagreeing with the discrimination, the Delhi HC had ruled that the government employ similar formula for all categories of backward candidates. But if the "service allocation list" of 2017 UPSC exam is any evidence, the government has not changed its method.

Shashank Ratnoo, an advocate in the case who is also an aggrieved UPSC candidate, said, "There is no stay on the court order. The government did not change the method to calculate the creamy layer for PSU candidates even for the 2016 batch. We have filed a contempt petition. It has done it again for the 2017 batch."

Source: TOI


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