The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has expressed willingness to include economically weaker sections, irrespective of a person's upper or lower class status, in the Other Backward Class (OBC) list.

"If there is a person involved in rickshaw-pulling for years, he is an OBC," NCBC chairman Justice V Eswaraiah was quoted as saying by a Times of India report.

Eswaraiah cited the Supreme Court's judgment on Indira Sawhney's PIL related to the Mandal Commission to support his willingness. The nine-judge Bench of the SC had on 16 November, 1992, said economic, social and educational criteria need to be considered while defining backward classes.

Eswaraiah reportedly said he may urge the government to bring economically weaker section under the OBC category. He said the Socio-Economic Caste Census could be used in deciding the OBC category as it provides accurate details of households' economic status.

"Among non-OBCs, if there are claims to backwardness, we can check the socio-economic census and decide on their inclusion in the backward list," he was quoted by The Times of India as saying.

The NCBC panel has suggested that sub-categories may be needed with the inclusion of the economically weaker section in the OBC list. While one category will be based on economic status, other on the basis of their population, which sonsists of 27% reservation.

The NCBC has further recommended that the Centre divide the OBC list into three categories: "backward classes", "most backward classes" and "extremely backward classes".

"When there are sub-groups, an EBC can be included in the appropriate category," said Eswaraiah.