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What is the General Category?

by Uneeb Khan

According to official statistics, Indians are divided into four broad categories: scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBC), and General Category (GC), which includes the ‘upper’ castes.

The General Category is defined by the Indian government as any caste that does not fall under the categories of SC, ST, OBC or any other disadvantaged community. They have advanced socially, economically, and academically.

The people who belong to this category are also referred to as the Forward Caste or Open Category.

People who are well-developed and up-to-date are part of the “general category.” They are a part of society that has improved. There are no reservations for this group of people.

Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Forward Caste are all included in the list of reservation groups that qualify for reservation benefits. They can get benefits like set quotas for education, special government programmes, government jobs, and political representation, among other things. The lists of general, Other Backward class, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes are made regardless of religion. The lists are subject to change from time to time due to social, educational, and economic factors. Some backward castes are trying to get OBC quota.

According to the 2011 census report, India had a population of 121 billion people.

Twenty percent of India’s population belongs to the Schedule castes. This means that around 24.2 billion Indians belong to the SC group. There is a 15 percent reservation for them in the government sector.

9 percent of India’s population is comprised of Scheduled Tribes. This means the population is close to 10,89 billion. They are granted a 7.5% reserve in the government sector.

Other backward Caste accounts up 41 percent of the total population. This results in a population of almost 49.61 billion people. There is a 27 percent reservation for them in the government sector.

The remaining 30% of the population falls under the so-called General Category. This means that around 36,300,000,000 Indians fall within this category.

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Is category certificate required for General Category?

A Category Certificate is proof that a person is part of a certain Caste, especially if they are part of one of the “Scheduled Castes and Tribes” listed in the Indian Constitution.

A different category such as Only SC/ST/OBC/GEN-EWS candidates need a certificate, and it is not required  for the General category.

There is a widespread problem in India where the general category of people do not have equal representation in the government or government-run organisations. This includes jobs with the government, in the courts, schools, and other places. For example, only 40% of UPSC’s seats are open to people who don’t have a reservation.

Where almost 30% of the people in the General Category can’t read or write. There are also a large number of forward caste people who live below the poverty line.

There is a growing call for the establishment of a separate reservation for the poor in the general category.

There are more forward caste people in many states. For example, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Assam, and Goa. This means that the number of seats or opportunities obtained by members of the forward caste is not proportional to their population.

10% reservation in General Category

The Union Cabinet has approved a 10% reservation in jobs and educational institutions for economically disadvantaged general category candidates.

Criteria for eligibility as an EWS:

1) Annual income of less than Rs 8 lakh.

2) Agricultural land less than five acres.

3) Residential space under one thousand square feet.

4) Residential lot under 109 yards in a municipality that has been notified.

5) Residential property less than 209 yards in an unnotified municipality.

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