New Delhi, November 30: The government on Wednesday approved inclusion of 15 new castes and modification in 13 other castes in the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the proposal. The National Commission of Backward Classes (NCBC) had recommended a total of 28 changes in respect of 8 states —Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

Out of these 28, 15 were new entries, 9 were synonyms or sub-castes of the castes which were already in the list and 4 were corrections. “The changes will enable the persons belonging to these castes/communities to avail the benefits of reservation in Government services and posts as well as in Central Educational Institutions as per the existing policy,” according to an official statement.

They will also become eligible for benefit under the various welfare schemes, scholarships etc. being administered by the Central Government, which are at present available to the persons belonging to the Other Backward Classes, it added. On the NCBC recommendation, a total of 2479 entries for inclusion, including its synonyms, sub-castes, etc. in the Central

List of OBCs have been notified in 25 States and 6 Union Territories. The last such notification was issued till September, 2016. NCBC examines requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the lists and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any backward class in such lists. Its advice is binding upon the Central Government.

Meanwhile, the Centre is already considering to relax the creamy layer norms for the OBC and note in this regard was already under consideration.