Dear Reader of the Express Explained,
The prime minister has told his party to work for “disadvantaged and oppressed sections” among non-Hindus, a call that is seen as an effort by the BJP to reach out to lower-caste Pasmanda – mostly OBC – Muslims. Gaining support from this broad section which has traditionally centered its demands on socio-economic betterment and better livelihood opportunities rather than religious identity could potentially boost the BJP, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Saurabh Kapoor has profiled the Pasmanda Muslims of India and their struggle for status and dignity against the dominant Ashraf elite of the community – who are they and what do they want? Read.
Speaking of OBCs, Justice G Rohini’s commission on the sub-categorization of OBCs to better leverage the 27% quota in central government jobs and educational institutions received a further extension this week. . Shyamlal Yadav wrote about the idea and purpose of ‘subcategorization’, as well as the Commission’s brief, work and progress so far. Also consult data on civil servants by social category.
The government changed the allocation ratio of wheat and rice to states under the National Food Security Act, triggering protests from some states. This change was forced by lower wheat purchases this year and low inventory levels in the central pool. Harikishan Sharma has written the comprehensive history of food grain allocation and consumption in India, including the latest available data on people’s dietary references to rice and wheat in various states.
Insurers in India can now sell you policies where your car insurance premium will depend on how you drive, how you maintain your vehicle and whether you want ‘floating’ cover for more than one vehicle. These are exciting new concepts that will rely heavily on the use of technology – and George Mathew has explained how they will work.