The Prime Minister’s Office is learnt to have disagreed with a suggestion to extend to the economically weak among the privileged castes certain eligibility-related relaxations that those from socially backward backgrounds have been getting in matters related to jobs and admissions.
The social justice and empowerment ministry had moved the proposal after demands from various quarters. BJP Rajya Sabha MP G.V.L. Narasimha Rao too had last month demanded that candidates from the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) be extended the benefits of relaxation in age and qualification.
Government officials said the PMO did not agree with the proposal.
At present candidates from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes enjoy differential relaxation in age and qualification under the eligibility criteria for jobs and admission.
For example, general category candidates can appear six times for civil service exams subject to an upper age limit of 32 years. OBC candidates can make nine attempts till the age of 35 while SC-ST candidates can appear as many times they want to till the age of 37.
The NDA government is yet to take a call on its next course of action on the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that states were not bound to provide reservation in jobs and there was no fundamental right that guaranteed quotas in promotions. Officials said the legal option available was to file a special leave petition against the judgment since the government was not a party to the case related to Uttarakhand.