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Reservation in India


In basic words, reservation in India refers to the practise of denying certain groups of people access to seats in government employment, educational institutions, and even legislatures.

The reservation, which is also known as affirmative action, may be viewed as positive discrimination. Reservation is a government policy in India, and it is endorsed by the Indian Constitution (by means of various amendments).

The Constitution of India establishes two key goals for providing reservation:

Advancement of Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) OR any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens (E.g.: OBC) OR economically weaker sections (EWS) - Articles 15 (4), 15 (5), and 15 (6), Adequate representation of any backward class of citizens OR economically weaker sections (EWS) in state services - Articles 16 (4) and 16 (5) (6).

The goal of offering reservations in services to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) is to provide jobs to some members of these communities. It primarily strives to empower them and ensure their involvement in the state's decision-making process.

Furthermore, the state is eager to put a stop to practises such as untouchability.

Scheduled Castes (SC) have a 15% quota in jobs and higher education institutions, while Schedule Tribes (ST) have a 7.5 percent quota in jobs and higher education institutions.

Based on the Mandal Commission Report, a reservation system for Other Backward Classes (OBC) was established (1991). In government jobs and higher education institutions, OBCs get a 27% quota.

In the case of the OBC reservation, however, there is a concept of a "creamy layer." Only OBCs who fall within the Non-Creamy Layer will be eligible for OBC reservations.

The creamy layer idea uses income and social standing as criteria to remove some of the OBC's most privileged members from the reservation's scope.

EWS Reservation was recently adopted by India's central government. Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) are given a 10% quota among General Category candidates for government posts and educational institutions. This is accomplished by including relevant clauses in the Indian Constitution (103rd Constitution Amendment Act, 2019).

In India, it is the government's responsibility to ensure equality of status and opportunity. Reservation is one of the techniques used to combat social oppression and discrimination against specific groups. Reservation, also known as affirmative action, aids in the upliftment of underprivileged groups. Reservation, on the other hand, is only one strategy for social upliftment. Scholarships, grants, coaching, and other welfare systems are only a few of the various options.

The Supreme Court of India limited caste-based quota in Indra Sawhney vs Union Of India in 1992, declaring that "no provision of reservation or preference may be pursued so actively as to damage the basic notion of equality."

"Since this Court has consistently held that the reservation under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) should not exceed 50%, and the States and the Union have by and large accepted this as correct, it should be treated as a constitutional prohibition, and any reservation beyond 50% would be liable to be struck down."

The reserve policy is good as long as any qualified individual does not miss out on a chance due to the reservation system in place. I don't see why unworthy kids should be admitted ahead of deserving students. If these groups of individuals have been denied chances in the past, the same situation is playing out again with the broader public. The results of the deserving's effort should not be distributed to the unworthy.

We must also recognise that while we discuss development, we cannot discuss backwardness at the same time. If we demand more and more backwardness, it is clear that we cannot and will not be able to go forward, and our development will eventually become static.


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