The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) passed a resolution stating that destitute orphaned children from the general categories should be given 27 percent reservation for admission in government schools and jobs along with others in the list of Other Backward Classes (OBC).
"The resolution was passed by the commission last week stating that those children who have lost their both parents and are below the age of 10 should be included in the OBC list and are eligible for reservation at par with all OBC castes," NCBC member Ashok Saini told reporters.
This would be the first time a group based on a criteria, and not on a particular caste or community, would be included in the central list of OBC's if the resolution is implemented.
"We have communicated the decision to the Union Ministry of Social Justice, which will have to take the final call. This is in keeping with the recent Supreme Court judgement where the court noted that caste alone cannot be the yardstick for determining backwardness," Saini added.
The decision, which was taken at a meeting chaired by NCBC head Justice V Eswaraiah, caters to children who have lost their parents before reaching 10 years of age and have been admitted to government-run or aided schools and orphanages with no one to take care of them "either by law or custom", the Indian Express reported.
The proposal might require the approval of the Cabinet. Tamil Nadu has also requested the central government to include orphans in the central list of OBC's. The state has been giving reservation to orphans under its OBC quota list for three years.
Telangana and Rajasthan also include orphans and destitute children in their respective OBC lists.