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OBC Full Form

Sudeshna chakrabartiUpdated On: August 29, 2023 11:40 am IST

OBC full form is Other Backward Class, which is a term used by the masses and the government to describe an economically, socially, and educationally backward section of society. If you wish to learn more about this strata of society, keep reading the article.


What is the Full Form of OBC?

OBC full form is Other Backward Class. The term is used for a certain category of castes, tribes, and the backward section of society. The people from the OBC category include farmers who are socially, educationally, and economically weaker.

OBC Total Population in India

As per the Mandal Commission Report of 1980, OBCs comprised 52% of the country's total population. However, the number has reduced to 41% in 2006 as per the report published by the National Sample Survey Organisation. But both the figures are questioned by the people as they expect the number of OBCs in India to be much higher than the figures quoted in the Mandala Commission Report and the National Sample Survey Organisation report. 

Distribution of OBCs by Caste Categories

The data in the table below is taken from the report submitted by the National Sample Survey Organisation: 





















Who Takes Care of the Affairs of OBCs

Until 1985, the Backward Classes Cell in the Ministry of Home Affairs used to take care of the affairs of the Backward Classes. However, a separate Ministry of Welfare was established in 1985 and renamed the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 1998. Two special institutions have also been set up for the welfare of OBCs: the National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation and the National Commission for Backward Classes.

What does the Government Do for OBCs?

As per Article 340 of the Indian Constitution, the government of India is required to promote the welfare of the OBC, the full form of which is the Other Backward Class. If required, the president of India can assign a commission to investigate the situation of the socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC) to understand the challenges faced by them.

If they find any serious issues, they can suggest actions to the union or the state to eliminate the challenges faced by the weaker sections of society. In addition to looking into the problems faced by OBCs, the commission also needs to prepare a report on the concerns of the weaker section and suggestions to improve their situation. The commission needs to submit this report to the president. 

Reservation for OBCs

There are certain benefits that OBCs have and reservation is one of them. People from the OBC category get reservation benefits in government jobs, higher education, and in the legislature. OBCs are entitled to 27% reservations for Public Sector jobs and higher education. There is a special provision of reservation to the Backward Class of citizens as per Article 16(4) of the Constitution to empower the underprivileged classes. 

Sub-categorization of OBC Category

As per the latest data, only a handful of the castes are getting benefitted from the government quota policies. To ensure that the benefits reach the worthy, the demand to create-sub categories within OBC is being made. 

States Where OBC Sub-Categorisation has been Implemented

To ensure that government benefits reach the deserving people, 11 states have already introduced OBC sub-categorization. These states are: 

  • West Bengal 
  • Tamil Nadu 
  • Andhra Pradesh 
  • Maharashtra
  • Karnataka
  • Jharkhand
  • Bihar
  • Telangana
  • Haryana
  • Puducherry
  • Jammu and Kashmir


Is there any other full form of OBC?

Yes, another OBC full form is the Oriental Bank of Commerce. This is a public sector bank established in 1943 in Lahore, Pakistan. It was nationalized in 1980. 


Is there any data on people who belong to the OBC category?

Yes, the Indian Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment maintains a list of people from the OBC category with their caste and community details. 


How many castes are there in the OBC category?

As per the list submitted by the Mandal Commission in 1980, there were a total of 3,743 backward cases and groups. However, the list increased to 5,013 castes as per the list submitted by National Commission for Backward Classes in 2006.


What's the difference between the General and OBC categories?

OBC full form is Other Backward Class while the general category includes open and unreserved categories. 


Who first used the OBC term?

OBC was used as a term to designate those hailing from backward classes first time by the Mandal Commission in 1980.