India Education
State education ministers support OBC quota
Apr 11, 2007 - 9:54:43 PM

New Delhi, April 11 - Education ministers from the states have endorsed the central government's stand on 27 percent reservation for backward classes students in premier institutes of learning like IITs and IIMs and other government-funded educational institutions.

The education ministers were here at a two-day conference at the invitation of Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh to discuss raising public expenditure on education to six percent of the national Gross Domestic Product - in the 11th Five Year Plan period that commenced April 1.

Though discussion on OBC - reservation was not the stated objective of the conference, the ministers deliberated on the issue.

Detailing newsmen later Arjun Singh said: 'All education ministers agreed on the need to implement 27 percent reservation for OBC students in this academic session only and that the government should try to ensure this by avoiding any confrontation with the courts, instead legally getting the stay vacated.'

Singh also reaffirmed the United Progressive Alliance - government's commitment to retaining 'creamy layer' in the purview of reservation.

The minister did not consider the argument for keeping creamy layer of OBCs out of job reservation strong enough for excluding them from higher education as well.

He said that the states have agreed 'to speed up state-specific legislations to give effect to the 93rd constitutional amendment, which enables reservations for SCs, STs and socially and educationally backward classes in educational institutions'.

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