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Is Reservation in India a Hurdle to Growth?

“There is nothing anti-intellectual in the leap of faith, for faith is not believing without proof but trusting without reservation”

Reservation is a system in which certain communities get representation which are currently in a disadvantaged group in the society i.e., in education, employment and politics. This can be found in the Articles 15 and 16 of the Indian constitution.

 Article 15 – prohibition of discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, religion, sex or place of birth.

(4) Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the state from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes. [1]

(5)Nothing in this article in sub-clause (g) of clause (1) of article 19 shall prevent the state from making any special provision, by law for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the scheduled castes or the scheduled tribes in so far as such special provision relate to the admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the state, other than the minority educational institution referred to in clause (1) of article 30.[2]

As stated above in Article 15 – nothing can stop the government from making special provisions for the backward classes, However, the big question which is still hanging in the air is ‘are the ones who deserve getting their equal shares as well?’  Let us see the statistics for once?

In Central Government funded higher education institutions, 22.5% seats are reserved for students from the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. It is increased to 49.5% by including the reservation of 27% to the OBCs. In 2019, the EWS bill pursuant to articles 15(6) and 16(6) ensured 10% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions. Which exceeded the 50% all in total.

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The main problem with reservation is that not everyone is getting social security by this reservation. The reservation- instead of being upon caste, if it would have been about the weaker sections of the society then maybe it would have helped to some extent. These communities which are now in the reservation category have not been treated well for hundreds of years, but then again, they cannot be discriminated against now, as we have laws and provisions protecting them for that. Then why is it not made according to the financial conditions. The Brahmins are considered as high caste – however there can be two types of Brahmins: a rich Brahmin and a poor Brahmin. Then why the one who needs help cannot be helped? Instead of dividing the reservation and approaching it in a caste way?   

IS IT NECESSARY?

Yes, it is. Reservation is the foundation towards finding that equality which we may find someday. It is because 65.53% of Indians still reside in rural area. Where the opportunities are almost grave and all they can do is opt for urban areas for both job and higher education. These people basically belong to the SC/ST/OBC categories.

As the caste system still prevails, we all get to see about the discrimination which still continues till today within the society. Such as follows: –

This news and many more. These are seen on everyday basis in our newspapers, and we tend to ignore. We hold the grudges against government because of the reservation however we are the reason it started in the first place and will still carry on. We are continuing instead of accepting and equalizing them with ourselves. People discriminate on the basis of caste, creed, gender, place of birth and colour however they forget the blood which we all have in common. Humanity should be the foremost thing to notice irrespective of all the differences we have. Even if after being educated we dwell upon earlier practices then we have no rights to call ourselves the youngsters of 21st century as we are the foundation of tomorrow. Our practices depict who we really are! We are unknowingly passing this to our next generation.

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DOES IT NEED SOME CHANGE?

Yes, it does. If we are ourselves dividing our own self among these castes, then this might prevail. If government has so many reservations make the rest for the ones who actually need after a close scrutiny within the society when the census takes place. It can make a separate department and see whether the people are benefitting from the fund which is being allotted and make sure everyone gets the profit. No section of people should be overlooked even if the profit is negligible to those who can afford all the luxuries of life. Which can actually make them have an optimistic faith towards the policies of government. The middle class which is almost 28% of the Indian population. The percentage might seem small but in accordance with the number of people it is huge.

 However, 62.8% people live in poverty which is almost 2/3rd of India’s population. If we have the reservation policy, then why is still this percentage so high? Because they are not able to use, they don’t know about their own rights! They are unaware of their benefits. They need to be told. Government is trying its best and so are some organizations. But if 30% of this 62.8% have less than $1.25 to survive on daily basis what else can they do but work? They themselves involve their progeny to the labour. We humans need to evolve perhaps the change is gradual, but it is there. This risk for them is a great one. All we can do is help by making them aware and spreading words. Which we as a responsible citizen of this country should do to bring the necessary change. To bring that equality which we always talk about. To initiate the change, we ourselves want to see.

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[1] INDIA CONST. art. 15, cl. 4.

[2] INDIA CONST. art. 15, cl. 5.


Cite this article (The Bluebook 20th ed.)-

Ashmita Sanyal, Is Reservation in India a Hurdle to Growth?, Ex Gratia Law Journal, (March 28, 2021), https://exgratialawjournal.in/blawg/constitutional-law/is-reservation-in-india-a-hurdle-to-growth-by-ashmita-sanyal/.


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Author

Ashmita Sanyal
Student - The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda