Review of Reservation Policy in India

Topics: Creamy layer, Other Backward Class, Mandal Commission Pages: 5 (1692 words) Published: August 21, 2010
I would start my paper by pointing out the historical reasons for giving reservation. The reservation policy in India is nothing new, as it had existed in our society from the time of the British rule and the princely states. The motive of having reservation then was the eagerness to modernise through the promotion of education and industry and maintaining unity among themselves. Reservation continued in India even after having achieved independence from the British. But there is an interesting fact that needs to be seen, that is the inclusion of provisions of reservation in the Constitution of India based on caste in educational institutions was after the intervention of the Supreme Court in the case of State of Madras v. Champakam Dorairajan where the court struck down the classification for reservation being based on caste, race and religion for the purpose of admission to educational institutions as unconstitutional. How far has this reservation policy succeeded is a question that always lingers in my mind. The easiest possible criticism of the existing reservation policy is the creamy layer among the backward classes having benefited by availing the reservation while the actual benefits have never percolated to the needy. So my argument would be the strengthening of the government schools which are in a very bad shape, which in itself would enable the providing of a level playing field to the backward classes. Why is it that the government tries to evade its duty of providing quality education in government schools, and take that as an excuse for providing reservation to the backward class, which is a populist policy thereby garnering votes for themselves. After reservation being given in higher education and having reserved jobs for the backward classes in the public sector now the debate is for giving reservation even in the private sector. So why is it that it has reached this stage, thereby proving that it is an ineffective system and my paper highlights why this existing system should be changed? Historical Reasons For Giving Reservation

India was a country with a very rigid caste based hierarchal structure where the higher casts enjoyed most of the benefits while the lower casts were looked down upon by the higher casts. The majority of the population was backward socially, economically, educationally, and politically. The backward classes were classified as the Scheduled castes (SC), Scheduled tribes (ST), and other backward classes. By 1947 India became an independent nation. It was at this point that the Constitution of India was framed and then the framers took forward the interest of the backward classes by having Article 46 in the Constitution. Article 46 stated that the state shall promote with special care the educational and economic interest of the weaker section of the people, also protecting them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation. Article 46 was complimented by the inclusion of many other articles for the empowerment of the backward classes. Since they were the oppressed classes this was thought to be the best mechanism to correct the mistake that was being practiced for many hundreds of years. Although the reservation policy is an exception to the equality rule it is still considered an essential element of equality. As equality has many dimensions and one such dimension is the reservation policy for the backward classes. From the beginning with very few articles on reservation policies in the Constitution now the number of articles has gone up which I feel is reaching a stage where there will have serious backlashes. The general candidates are feeling the pressure all the time. From a simple reservation of about 15% for the SC’s & ST’s in educational institutions now the percentage has gone up and also the other backward classes (OBC’s) have been brought within the fold of reservation by the suggestion of the Mandal Commission. But even after 59 years of independence...
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