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Rajasthan OBCs angry as they need more marks than general category to enter civil service

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OBC candidates call it a ‘blatant’ violation of reservation policy, allege they’re being restricted to 26% quota despite good performance.

New Delhi: Unrest is brewing among OBC candidates aspiring to enter the civil services in Rajasthan as the new qualifying mark to make it to the Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) has been set at 99.33 out of 200 – much higher than the 76.06 for general category candidates.

While some have hailed the development as evidence of the OBC community’s better performance in the preliminary exam conducted by the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC), OBC candidates are calling it a blatant violation of the reservation policy.

They allege that the RPSC is trying to restrict the number of OBCs selected under the 26 per cent quota reserved for them. 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.

Also read: No, reservation does not produce inferior IAS officers, say two US scholars

What does the law state?

It is a settled principle of law that candidates scoring more than the cut-off for the general category are not taken under reserved quota.

An office memorandum issued by the Department of Personnel and Training in 2010 stated: “SC, ST and OBC candidates in case of direct recruitment and SC and ST candidates in case of promotion, appointed on their own merit and not owing to reservation should not be shown against reserved quota. They will be adjusted against unreserved quota.”

Former IAS officer Amar Singh confirmed that this was indeed the case.

“The normal understanding is that an open seat is open for everyone, and not just Brahmins and Thakurs,” Singh said.

Vivek Kumar, professor of sociology at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, said the RPSC cut-offs looked “like mischief”.

“Unless they (RPSC) have come up with some amendment, it is against the law… It defeats the reservation policy to have higher cut-offs for reserved categories,” he said.

RPSC’s justification

In Rajasthan, where the population of OBCs is well above 50 per cent, OBC candidates say they are being restricted to the 26 per cent seats reserved for them, leading to stiff competition and high cut-offs.

“This is happening because the RPSC is trying to restrict the OBC candidates to the 26 per cent reservation, even when they are getting better marks than general category candidates,” said Ramlal Chaudhary, an RAS officer who cleared the exam in 2016. “What is the point of reservation if the cut-off for the reserved category is higher?”

However, RPSC member T.C. Berwal clarified: “Under the RPSC rules, we are mandated to release category-wise results, and because there are more candidates from the OBC category, their cut-off is higher. If OBC candidates are performing better than general candidates, their cut-off is naturally higher.”

Also read: UPSC notifies lowest number of vacancies in 10 years. Is this the Modi effect at play?

Matter in high court

Unconvinced by the RPSC’s argument, OBC candidates have taken the matter to the Rajasthan High Court. They have filed a petition seeking relief for 13,000-15,000 candidates.

This is not the first time this has happened, however. In 2013 and 2016 too, cut-offs for OBCs were higher than that for the general category, compelling OBC candidates to move the court.

“However, each time, we have been provided interim relief by the court. A conclusive decision hasn’t yet been taken,” said RAS officer Chaudhary, who too belongs to the OBC category.

“Last time, the court said all the OBC candidates scoring anywhere between the OBC and general cut-offs were taken. But this time again, the same thing has happened.”

The pass mark in the report has been corrected to 99.33 out of 200 instead of 99.33 per cent. The error is regretted.

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  1. इस लेख में दो गलत जानकारी है प्रथम ओबीसी का कटऑफ 99.35 मार्क्स है ना की प्रतिशत दूसरा राजस्थान में ओबीसी को 21 परसेंट रिजर्वेशन है ना कि 26 परसेंट

    • रिपोर्ट में उचित संशोधन कर दिए गए हैं. त्रुटि को दर्शाने के लिए आपका धन्यवाद

  2. Ma’am, this is 76.06 Marks, not ‘76.06 percentages’ and 99.33 Marks out of 200 Marks respectively for General and OBC Category as stated by You ( The Print ). First, correct your key words well b4 final edit, Ma’am. There is lot of difference between Marks and Percentage.

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