Indian Reservation System

Indian Reservation System

Indian Reservation System


The context


Introduction of OBC reservation in NEET exam


The question of equity


  1. While these provisions are undeniably one of the success stories of Indian democracy, they have also gathered a fair share of difficulties that require prompt governmental attention and debate.
  2. It was hoped that by reserving seats in state political and public institutions, previously marginalised groups — who had endured years of tyranny and humiliation — would now be allowed to participate in power-sharing and decision-making processes. However, in our diverse society, this technique of removing infirmities has not resulted in an equalization of life prospects for many groups.


The current scenario:


  1. There is currently a considerable demand from individuals who have not been able to reap the benefits of reservations from the marginalized parts to create some policy options to augment the existing reservation system.
  2. The notion that the existing system has a “reification problem” isn’t just wishful thinking; it’s a hard fact.
  3. The statistics from the Justice G. Rohini Commission’s report on OBC sub-categorization provide a good overview of the situation. 
    1. The panel stated that 97 percent of central OBC quota benefits go to slightly under 25% of the castes based on statistics from the previous five years on appointments in central government positions and OBC admissions to central higher education institutions. 
    2. In both central government positions and admissions to central colleges, 983 OBC communities — 37 percent of the total — had no representation. According to the data, only 10% of OBC communities have received 24.95 percent of jobs and admissions.
  4. Clearly, the assumption that all sub-groups within each category have the same disadvantages is incorrect.
  5. It’s worth noting that the Rohini Commission’s findings are limited to institutions under the control of the federal government. We don’t have much in the way of comprehensible data on the socio-economic conditions of various social groupings at the state and municipal levels of society.
  6. As a result of the uneven distribution of reservation, political projects of unified subaltern solidarity have been severely hampered. Parties that used to be able to form significant Bahujan coalitions are now finding it difficult to do so. Rather than dismissing them as mere schemes to disrupt lower caste solidarity, this should provide us clues about the scope of the problem.


The data issue

  1.  precise data on the socioeconomic status of various social groupings is desperately needed. Though caste-based reservations have played an important role in promoting upward social mobility and the creation of a few politically mature and visible Dalit-Bahujan castes, there is a scarcity of statistics on the policy’s real reach and accessibility.


The need for some positive action


  1. First, we must rapidly establish a wide range of context-sensitive, evidence-based policy alternatives that can be adjusted to address the needs of various groups. 
  2. Two, we need an institution similar to the Equal Opportunities Commission of the United States or the United Kingdom that can do two important but interrelated things: create a deprivation index based on data from socioeconomic-based censuses of various communities, including caste, gender, religion, and other group inequalities, and rank them so that tailor-made policies can be developed
  3. Conduct a non-discrimination and equal opportunity audit of companies and educational institutions, and produce codes of good behavior in various industries. On an institutional level, this will make policy formation and monitoring easier.
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