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Algorithm of Indian Reservation System

In India, reservation focuses on reserving seats in government offices, educational institutions, and even legislatures for forceful populations. Reservation is also referred to as a positive deed, yet it can also be viewed as positive discrimination. The Indian constitution supports the government's policy of reservation in India.

The purpose of reservation in India:
The two main purposes to provide reservations as per the constitution of India are:
  1. The development of Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) or other socially and educationally backward classes of citizens (Example: Other Backward Class) or economically poorer parts are the two main reasons for providing reservations, according to the Indian constitution.
  2. Adequate representation of any economically disadvantaged population or backward classes in state-run services.

Advantage of reservation in India

  • Promoting backward classes: The reservation system's greatest benefit is that it promotes members of the lower social classes, who in developing nations like India struggle to find decent employment and maintain a decent standard of living due less to a lack of ability than to their caste because they are regarded as "untouchables," and as a result, are given jobs that upper caste members cannot perform (Brahmins, Kshatriyas). In other words, the government assures that they can do occupations of acceptable status by granting them reservations in government employment and colleges.
  • Reduction in the Gap between rich and poor backward class: Additionally, it aids in bridging the economic gap between the wealthy and poor, disadvantaged classes for government jobs. Reservation makes sure those from the lower social classes receive respectable wages, which in turn enables them to escape the cycle of poverty. Simply put, reservations help close the gap between the wealthy and the socially and economically disadvantaged.
  • Equal representation: The proportion of members of disadvantaged groups who participate in various decision-making processes, resulting in equal representation from various social groups.
  • Equal opportunities to deserving candidates: It has aided certain members of underprivileged groups in obtaining more senior positions or services in both public and commercial entities.
  • Economic balance in society: The process of moving forward to become richer and moving backward to become poorer has slowed down because of reservation.

Disadvantages of reservation in India:

  • Encouraging casteism: Instead of dispelling the idea of a caste-based society, it is promoting it.
  • Chances of creating more castes in society: Even now, wealthier people from lower castes still enjoy a social and economic advantage over poor people from upper castes. If this condition continues, it might lead to the creation of a distinct lower caste made up of members of the lower-class upper castes.
  • Short-term relief: A reservation only offers a limited and temporary solution to the problems of historical injustice.
  • Opposing meritocracy: If unfit individuals are given opportunities, it will lower the caliber of students and professionals working at various institutions.
  • Social unrest: Social unrest may result from reservation agitations, as it did during the Mandal commission.

� Mandal Commission:

The Bindheshwari Prasad Mandal (B.P. Mandal)-led Mandal commission was founded in India in 1979 during the Morarji Desai-led Janata party government with the task of identifying those who were economically or socially disadvantaged.

The existence of a hierarchy based on race, class, and religion is a very significant aspect of life in India, and its effects on the people of the nation have been profound and long-lasting. Equality and liberty, which are essential components for granting people the chance to live happy and fulfilling lives, are constantly threatened by these institutions, which have long been a source of conflict and suffering for significant portions of the population.

By using eleven social, economic, and educational indicators to determine backwardness, it considered the issue of seat reservations and quotas for individuals to end caste-based discrimination.

Setting Up of Mandal Commission:

  • The Morariji Desai administration decided to create the second backward class commission in 1978.
  • The commission was established in 1979 by presidential proclamation under Article 340 for Articles 15 and 16.
  • The second Backward Class Commission, which was made up of only members from the Backward Castes, appeared to be formed along party lines while the first Backward Class Commission had a diverse composition.
  • Four of the commission's five members belonged to the OBCs; the sole member from a scheduled caste, I.R. Naik, was a member of the Dalit group.

Reservation Policy:

The Mandal Commission used a variety of strategies and procedures to gather the required information and proof. The panel selected eleven criteria that could be categorized under three main headings: social, educational, and economic, to determine who qualified as an "other backward class." The development of 11 criteria for identifying OBCs.
  • Social:
    • Castes considered as socially backward by others,
    • Castes mainly depend on manual labor for their livelihood,
    • Castes where at least 25 percent of females and 10 percent of males above the state average get married at an age below 17 years in rural areas and at least 10 percent of females and 5 percent of males do so in urban areas.
    • Castes where participation of females in work is at least 25 percent above the state average.
  • Educational:
    • Castes where the number of children in the group of 5-15 years who never attended school is at least 25 percent above the state average.
    • Castes when the rate of student drop-out in the group of 5-15 years is at least 25 percent above the state average,
    • Castes amongst whom the proportion of matriculates is at least 25 percent below the state average,
  • Economic:
    • Castes where the average value of the family is at least 25 percent below the state average,
    • Castes where the number of families living in Mud houses is at least 25 percent above the state average,
    • Castes where the sources of drinking water are beyond half a kilometer for more than 50 percent of the households,
    • Castes where the number of households having taken consumption loans is at least 25 percent above the state average.

Observations and findings:
  • The commission estimated that 32 percent of the total population (excluding SC and ST), belonging to 3,743 different castes and communities, were 'backward'.
  • The number of backward castes in the central list of other backward castes has now increased to 5,103 (without calculating the most of union territories) in 2006 as per National Commission for backward classes.
  • Figures of the caste-wise population are not available beyond, so the commission used 1931 caste census data to calculate the number of other backward classes.
  • The population of Hindus in other backward classes was derived by subtracting from the total population of Hindus, the population of SC and ST, and that of forward Hindu caste and communities, and it worked out to be 52 percent. Assuming that roughly the proportion of other backward classes amongst non-Hindus was of the same order as amongst the Hindus, the population of non-Hindu other backward classes was considered as 52 percent.

It could seem that improving OBCs is related to more important national concerns like ending mass poverty. This is not entirely accurate. The deprivation of other backward classes is a highly unique instance of the greater national problem; thus, the fundamental concern is whether social and educational backwardness and poverty are simply these two devastating caste-based disadvantages' direct results. These disabilities are ingrained in our social framework, therefore eliminating them will necessitate significant structural adjustments. The way people view the issues facing the nation's other underprivileged classes will alter, and that is no less significant.

The Mandal Commission submitted its Report in December 1980. It included suggestions based on its monitoring and results as well as the criteria it used to determine backwardness. The Janata party government had already been overthrown by that point. Due to its politically divisive nature, the succeeding Congress governments under Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi declined to act on the Report.

The report was finally accepted by the V.P. Singh-led national front government on August 7th, 1990, after being rejected for ten years. The National Front government announced that it would give "socially and educationally backward classes" a 27 percent reservation for jobs in central services and public undertakings. Following the government order's issuance on August 13th, V.P. Singh declared its legal execution in a speech delivered on August 15th, Independence Day.

In September of the same year, a complaint was filed before the Indian Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the government order enforcing the Mandal Commission recommendations. The petitioner, in this case, Indra Sawhney, presented the main objections to the ruling.
  • Caste was not a reliable predictor of backwardness; the extension of reservation violated the constitutional guarantee of equality of opportunity.
  • The effectiveness of the government agency was in jeopardy
Until the matter is finally decided, the Supreme Court's five-judge panel imposed a stay of the government order from August 13th. The Supreme Court affirmed the government order on November 16, 1992, ruling that caste was a legitimate measure of backwardness.

Protest and Criticisms:
Colleges throughout the country held sizable rallies against it in response to the harsh criticism. Rajeev Goswami, a student of Deshbandhu College, set himself on fire on September 19, 1999, to protest the activities of the government. His deed cemented him as the face of the anti-Mandal uprising at the time. As a result, several upper-caste college students began to commit suicide, putting their chances of landing a government job in jeopardy.

This started a powerful student movement in India against the practice of reserving jobs for lower castes. Throughout the year, approximately 200 teenager's attempted self-immolation; 62 of these individuals died from their burns. Surinder Singh Chauhan, who committed suicide by setting himself on fire on September 24, 1990, was the first student protester to do so.

The current structure of reservation in India:

  • Maharashtra:
    • The initial percentage of reservations in Maharashtra State was 52%, as per the State Reservation Act. Additionally, with the addition of the 12% (Education) and 13% (Jobs) Maratha quotas, the state's overall reservation had increased to 64�65%.
    • The State is also subject to the 10% quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) announced by the central in 2019. Since the Supreme Court's ruling on the Maratha Reserve, 62% of that state is now under reservation.
  • Haryana and Bihar:
    • The reservation quota in Haryana and Bihar is 60%, including the 10% quota for the Economically Weaker Section.
  • Telangana:
    • In the state of Telangana, there is a 50% reservation quota. The Telangana Government, however, approved a bill in 2017 that increased the reservation quotas for Muslims from 4% to 12% and Scheduled Tribes from 6% to 10%, pushing the overall reservation rate above 50%.
  • Chhattisgarh:
    • The state of Chhattisgarh has India's highest reservation quota. The state has reserved 82% of the seats for the less fortunate. A little under half of the state's residents are classified as Other Backward Class (OBC). While OBC has a 27% reservation, Scheduled Tribes a 32% reservation, Scheduled Caste a 13% reservation, and EWS a 10% reservation.
  • Madhya Pradesh:
    • Another state with the highest level of reservation, at 73%, in Madhya Pradesh. Reservations are given to Scheduled Caste (16%), Scheduled Tribe (20%), OBC (27), and EWS (10%).

Between the reserved and non-reserved segments of society, the reservation issue has continued to be a source of contention. The neediest parts within the reserved segments are seldom aware of how to profit from the provision or even that such provisions exist, while the unreserved segments continue to oppose it.

Instead, the segment's "creamy layer" is granted special rights under the guise of racial discrimination, and political parties back them to build up their voter bases. Reservation is unquestionably beneficial for the underprivileged and economically disadvantaged segments of society when it is used as a proper form of positive discrimination, but when it tends to be detrimental to society and secures privileges for some at the expense of others for specific political goals, as it does in its current form, it should be eliminated as soon as possible.

  • article-6526-the-concept-origin-and-evaluation-of-reservation-policy-in-india.html

Written By: Shivam Krishna,

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