The Karnataka Cabinet on Thursday decided to abolish two categories of the Other Backward Castes (OBC) and replace them with the two new categories.

The State has four categories of OBC: 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B based on the economic, social and educational status.

These communities get preferential reservation in jobs and educational institutions based on the categories.

While 2A are the most backward, 2B are moderate, and little above them are 3A and 3B.

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The two dominant communities—Vokkaliga and Panchamasalis—which are in 3A and 3B category, have been demanding reservations under 2A status, and the State government decided to abolish 3A and 3B categories.

The government decided to create two new categories of 2C and 2D. Those who are presently 3A and 3B would now find place in 2C and 2D.

Apart from them, the economically weaker section (EWS) for whom reservation has been announced by the Centre would also be placed under 2C and 2D category.

“We are making only two categories–one is SC/ST and another is ‘Two’. We are not changing the reservation or the number of people in it in the 2A and 2B, we are creating 2C and 2D,” State Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

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The 2C and 2D would accommodate people who were in the 3A and 3B categories, the Minister said.

Those who were in 3A such as Vokkaligas and others would now be in 2C and those in the 3B category such as Lingayats and others would be in the 2D category, Madhuswamy said.

Those in the 2C and 2D would continue to avail themselves of facilities given to them under the 3A and 3B categories, the Minister elaborated.

He clarified that those in the 2A and 2B would not be touched and their education, employment or political reservation would not be disturbed.

According to him, the government decided to do away with the 3A and 3B categories based on the recommendations of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes.

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“We have decided to give consent to bring the people in the Category-3 to the Category-2, which is also recommended by the KSCBC,” Madhuswamy told reporters.

About the EWS, he said the government had to make provision for the reservation for it after the Constitutional amendment, which was upheld by the Supreme Court to increase the 10 per cent reservation for the EWS.

The Minister said only those EWS who have not been covered under any reservation can avail themselves of the quota benefit up to 10 per cent.

“We will take the EWS population based on the 2011 census to decide on reservation for them. We will be able to save the quota for the EWS because there is no community (in the EWS category) left to avail of 10 per cent reservation,” Madhuswamy said.

The EWS would be accommodated in the 2C or 2D category, he added.

According to the Minister, 2A are the most backward communities and 2B are moderate backward and thus they should not be touched in terms of their population for reservation.