Odisha constituted the State Commission for Backward Classes with the former High Court judge Justice Raghunath Biswal as chairman.
- Navneeta Rath
- Mitali Chinnara and
- Prasanna Kumar Patra.
Senior bureaucrat Veer Vikram Yadav has been nominated as Member-Secretary of the commission.
The tenure of the chairperson and members of the commission is three years from the date of assuming office.
It was in 1993 that Odisha first constituted the commission in accordance with the provisions of Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.
However, after the first tenure, the panel was never put back in place. Last month, when the Naveen Patnaik Government passed a Cabinet resolution seeking from Centre a caste-based enumeration alongside General Census 2021, the Opposition targeted it for not forming the OBC Commission and implementing 27 per cent reservation in government jobs as well as educational institutions as recommended by the Mandal Commission.
In 2008, it enacted the Odisha Reservation of Posts and Services for (Socially and Educationally Backward Classes) Act seeking 27 per cent reservation in posts and services under the State in case of direct recruitment for the SEBC subject to exclusion of creamy layer.
However, it was quashed by the State Administrative Tribunal and later by the Orissa High Court in 2017. With the Centre recently turning down a request for SEBC enumeration, formation of the panel could be the State Government’s first move towards conducting the census itself.
In fact, a BJP delegation had met Sahni on Tuesday and submitted that many States had crossed the 50 per cent threshold in reservation to give justice to OBCs and Odisha should be directed to follow that lead. The OBC Commission will have mandate to inclusion/exclusion of a particular caste or community as Backward Class and advise the State Government as it deems appropriate.
About the Members of Commission
- Chairperson Justice Raghunath Biswal had earlier served as president of State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission from November 2012 to March 2017.
- Navneeta Rath is a social scientist, who conducted studies on Backward Classes
- Mitali Chinnara is the professor of Economics.
- Prasanna Kumar Patra is a renowned anthropologist and his research included socio-cultural, biological anthropology and demography.
Currently, Odisha Provides 11.25 per cent reservation to OBCs in Government Jobs.