Reservation in Private Sector

Topics: Discrimination, Affirmative action, Public sector Pages: 16 (5185 words) Published: September 17, 2011
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“Reservation is against the fundamental principles of humanity, it is against the dictates of reason that a man should by reason of birth be denied or given extra privileges." -Mahatma Gandhi-


1.Constitution of India. The Preamble of the constitution of India embodies the resolve of the people of India to secure for all citizens: “Justice, social, economic and political; Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; Equality of status and of opportunity; to promote among them all Fraternity assuring the dignity of the Individual and the unity of the Nation”. One of the seven categories of broad Fundamental Rights guaranteed in the constitution is the right to equality including equality before the law, prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and equality of opportunity in matters of employment. However, it is declared in the Directive Principles of the State Policy that “The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Schedule Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all form of exploitation”. Further Article 15(4) of the Constitution provides that “Nothing in Article 15 or 29(2)….. shall prevent the State from making any special provisions for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes”. Also, Article 16 (40 of the constitution permits the state to make “any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favor of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the state, is not adequately represented in the services under the State”. Thus, the Constitution prescribes certain protection and safeguards for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and other backward classes with the objective of promoting their educational and economic interest and of removing certain social disabilities that they have been traditionally subjected to.

2.Protective discrimination. The term protective discrimination refers to a wide variety of special provisions designed to meet out special or preferential treatment to the weaker sections. The policies and programmes designed to promote the interest of the weaker sections or the historically disadvantageous groups are also indicated by terms such as compensatory discrimination, affirmative action and reverse discrimination. The policies and programmes of the central and state governments for the benefit of the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and the other socially, educationally and economically backward classes cover several areas and they fall under three broad categories.

(a)Reservation which allot or facilitate access to valued positions or resources (reserved seats in legislatures, reservation of posts in government and government aided institutions, reservation of seats in academic institutions and to lesser extent reservation in the distribution of land allotments, housing and other scarce resources). (b)Programmes involving expenditure or provision of services (scholarships, grants, loans, land allotment, health care, legal aid) to a beneficiary group beyond comparable expenditure for others. (c) Special protections to the weaker sections from being exploited and victimized (prohibition of forced labour, legislation regulating money lending, providing debt relief and restricting land transfers, protection of civil rights Acts etc.).

3.The implementation of the policy and programmes of “protective discrimination” during the last decades has raised many issues. While the issues concerning the justification of the policy and the implications of the programmes harbor on their philosophical basis, historical contexts and national goals, those concerning an evaluation of the...
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