At the eve of independence, India stood a juncture of unique yet precarious socio-economic circumstances. The people lived in high poverty levels and life expectancy was merely 32 (approximately). Moreover, the Indian populace was a victim of its social evils: the most atrocious being the stringent caste system. The constitution makers were well aware of this malice that was deeply rooted in the society. The caste system was not only rigid but highly discriminatory. Thus, Indian constitution makers decided that the country in the years to come would follow the policy of affirmative action. Affirmative action is basically the government and state institutions taking some positive measures to bring everyone on a level playing field. In other words, it is to bring the people, groups and communities (who have been disadvantaged for centuries by virtue of their caste) up to the level of the general society by providing them with certain concessions, advantages and special opportunities. Through affirmative action the government seeks to create an atmosphere as egalitarian as possible. This is also known as positive discrimination. One of the most prominent as well as controversial forms of affirmative action visible in India is reservation. Reservation, as the name itself suggests, is the ‘reserving’ of seats. These seats are “reserved” or kept aside for the disadvantaged in government jobs, educational institutions and even the legislatures. Reservation in India is the policy of the government which has been provided backing by the Constitution of the country. The Constitution of India states in article 15(4): “Nothing in … shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially, and educationally backward classes of citizens of or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes”. Initially this reservation was to be for a period of ten years. Yet, due to certain reasons, (most of which are politically motivated) even after more than seven decades of independence these reservations have continued by the means of various amendments to the constitution. It is said that reservations are envisaged at achieving two main twin goals: one of advancement and the other of adequate representation.  Nevertheless, if reservation has strong proponents, it also has its set of fierce critics. Many people and scholars have today come to claim that the reservation policy in the country needs to be drastically revamped. Some say reservation should be completely eliminated while others say it’s criteria be changed like from caste based to economic status based. For instance before 2019, the main basis of reservation was social and educational backwardness (caste). However, from 2019, economic backwardness is also taken into consideration for providing reservation. For instance, the 124th constitutional amendment provided a 10% quota for “economically weaker sections” from the general category of the population as well. But the experts did nit welcome this as they hoped they would because providing this quota would violate the 50 per cent cap on reservation set by the Supreme Court of India. The apex court in its landmark 1993 judgment in Indra Sawhney vs Union of India stated that the total number of reserved  seats cannot exceed 50% of what is available and that under the constitutional scheme of reservation, economic backwardness alone could not be a criterion. Therefore, taking an aerial view of the Indian reservation policy, about 60% of seats are reserved in the country for various sections like the Scheduled Tribes (ST), Scheduled Castes (SC), Other Backward Classes (OBC), and the Economically Weak Sections (EWS) with respect to Government jobs like the Civil Services and Higher Education Institutions like IITs and IIMs. In addition, 3% of seats are also reserved for the differently-abled persons across all categories. This also means that approximately only 40% of seats are available on the basis of merit which frankly is unfair to meritorious candidates. In the merit seats, not only the general category candidates but all other categories like SC, ST, OBC, and EWS can also compete. Thus we need to keep in mind that we cannot compromise the meritorious candidates buy virtue of their caste and put them at a disadvantage to put others in an advantageous position. Hence, a thorough recheck of the Indian reservation policy should be conducted and designed in accordance with the contemporary Indian socio-economic and political context of the worlds biggest democracy.

This Post Has 43 Comments

  1. Pratham

    General category is at disadvantage. There is a need to review this policy

  2. Harsh

    Very well researched and nicely explained

  3. Saumya

    Reservation is a good move so that poor people also get opportunities

  4. Aarushj

    Really controversial policy. I feel policy makers should try making it fair for everyone

  5. Reena

    People are now misusing this policy. So it should be reviewed once

  6. Sumanyu

    Very well expressed and presented all the important aspects

  7. Manshi Sinha

    Knowledgeable thank you e

  8. Ritu kumari

    So important post👍👍👍👍

  9. Satish Kumar

    Very knowledgeable post 👍👍👍👍

  10. Tanisha

    Very true I completely agree with the post that the current reservation policy needs to be reformed because it’s only creating a disadvantage for the students who are actually meritorious and belong to a general category

  11. Tanisha

    The reservation policy in India was started with the motive of uplifting the backward caste system which was considered untouchables by the society

  12. Tanisha

    Very true as the time passes you need Re formation in the caste system coz we cannot let behind the meritorious and the quality student beside giving support to the the backward caste system

  13. Tanisha

    According to me when you are going for an admission in the colleges by working so hard and receiving a very good percentage but still you are lagging behind the admission it means that something is not correct going on in the policy system

  14. Tanisha

    About 50% of seats have been reserved in the education and job sector and even in the left 50% seats the backward caste peoples are allowed to compete it means that the general category people have to suffer

  15. Tanisha

    Very informative post and all the the content is researched minutely

  16. Mahendra Kumar Thakur

    This is so good👍👍👍

  17. Nikita

    To uplift the weaker sections of society and eliminate the caste system, the government needs to do more than just reservation policy.

  18. Gautam Verma

    To be honest, in this time the reservation policy doesn’t seem fair anymore.

  19. Rajnish Kumar

    Very informative post🔥🔥🔥

  20. Rajnish Kumar

    Very informative post👍👍

  21. Aadarsh

    Very knowledgeable 👍👍👍

  22. Mehak Sharma

    The reservation policy was to help socially backward people come in front along with others to get in the hope of equality.

  23. Sameer Rajput

    However considerate this policy seems but it’s not fair to general people when it comes to education opportunities like college admissions.

  24. Disha Singh

    I believe the government can do better than this policy in order to eliminate the caste system.

  25. Nishita Rana

    There are so many people who takes advantage of this policy. Like forging documents to show that they’re from backward class when they are not and using quota advantage for their good.

  26. Mansha Dhikkar

    Nice content, thanks for sharing!

  27. Vanshika Yadav

    great content shared by Unnati, thankyou for sharing

  28. gauri

    Great content, thankyou for sharing

  29. Sheetal

    thanks for sharing this article 🙌

  30. Yuvika

    great article shared by Unnati

  31. Dinkal kumar

    Really informative and beneficial ,please take a look if you want to know about this.

  32. Dishita Puri

    This is so good Unnati

  33. Ayushi

    Very knowledgeable and informative post😁
    Well done unnati 👍

  34. Bhavna

    There are so many people who takes advantage of this policy. Thanku so much for sharing such information

  35. Nishu

    The caste reservation system is fully classifies here… That is easy to understand about it…

  36. Ankit Gupta

    The above article is for easily understanding the needs, use and other important things about caste system.

  37. Maybell

    Really no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of then its up to other
    viewers that they will help, so here it takes

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