Progress Made Under Reservation In India & Its Criticism

In the previous article we have discussed about the Reservation System in India, how it started and chronology of reservation till date. We have also discussed the role played by Indian Judiciary and Legislature in shaping the reservation system that we see today and various amendment acts that altered the original provisions of Reservation. In this article we would be discussing about the Progress made under the Reservation system in India, why it is criticized by people belonging from upper caste, how it is effecting the current educational system, recent agitations in India related to Reservation demanded by various communities and our views.

Progress Made under Reservation System: Whatever reason is provided by the groups that oppose reservation but it remains a fact that reservation has helped to increase the representation of reserved category. In many government institutes there has been an increase in proportion of scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and other backward classes. The data can be categorized as follows:
Click Here To Read All The Points

  1. Most of the Government Jobs in India are divided into 4 categories: Group A, Group B, Group C and Group D. Class A employees take up 2.2% of the public sector workforce, Class B employees take up 3.3%, Class C employees take up 66.8% and Class D employees take up 27.2% of the public sector workforce. Over the years the representation of SC has increased significantly in all those four type of government jobs which is a promising sign.
    From the time Reservation was introduced in India, there has been increase in participation of people from SC/ST community

    From the time Reservation was introduced in India, there has been increase in participation of people from SC/ST community

  2. Enrollment of SC and ST has increased in undergraduate, post-graduate, technical and professional courses. Percentage of enrollment of SC in these categories was 7.08% in 1978-79 which increased to 13.30% in 1995-96.
    Representation of Students from SC/ST communities have doubled due to introduction of reservation in universities.

    Representation of Students from SC/ST communities have doubled due to introduction of reservation in universities.

  3. Percentage of depressed class living below poverty line was 51.32% in 1978-79 which was reduced to 35.97% in 1993-94. Although it was still above the national poverty average.
  4. A case study done by Andhra Pradesh Government showed that more than 10% of backward classes have been admitted in the open competition quota, apart from the 25% in reserved quota. This shows that the backward classes are competing by merit in open competitions.
  5. An analysis of the number of students applying for Scholarships & Reimbursement of tuition fee shows that there is an increase of percentage of applications on average. This means there is an increase in poor BC students opting for higher studies.
    A study conducted on Indian Railways showed that there is no fall in overall productivity when reservation is introduced.

    A study conducted on Indian Railways showed that there is no fall in overall productivity when reservation is introduced.

  6. In 13th Lok Sabha there were 79 seats reserved but there were 81 SC representatives in the house. Though the number was very small but it is a promising result that now SC are elected even from seats which were not reserved.

Criticism of Reservation in India: Reservation has been criticized by various groups and people (usually from General Category) from time to time. The main reason given by these groups is that reservation was intended for 10 years only and now it has been 70 years since the policy was implemented. Instead of scrapping the reservations the government is increasing it through various amendments.

  1. Many people say that reservation is against the constitution of India which says “No discrimination on the basis of caste, religion or sex”, but in India reservation is provided on all of these basis. Second, reservation in India has now shifted from a policy of upliftment to a vote bank politics and no one wants to lose this opportunity. It is to be noted that in 1950’s a person of SC/ST community who benefited from reservation, it would be their 5th generation taking the advantage of same reservation system in 2015.
    Supreme court of India on reservation policy
  2. National Survey showed that “In India only 0.7% of scholarships are provided on the basis of merit. Most of the scholarships or aid is available only for OBC, SC, ST, Women, Minorities & Muslims”. This hampers the growth of aspiring students from upward caste who are financially weaker.
    Educational Scholarship In India

    A research done by Rediff Labs shows that only .7% students in India get scholarship on the basis of Merit.

  3. The seats reserved for SC/ST are not utilized in the manner it should be and most of the reserved seats are generally grabbed by privileged SC/ST students, making it difficult for poor SC/ST students to benefit from reservation. As a result, scholars such as Oliver Mendelsohn, Sachchidananda, and G. Narayana have brought to light the emergence of a “Harijan Elite,” who are gradually moving farther and farther away—politically, socially, and economically, from the rest of the SC population.
  4. Un-employment in India has increased from the time India gained its independent. In 1951, 3.29 lakh educated people were unemployed and has increased to 300 lakhs in 2010. With successive increase in percentage of reservation, dissatisfaction among unemployed youth has increased. Also various state governments have tried to increase the reservation beyond 50% which is seen as an injustice by the today’s youth. There have been many demonstrations against reservation. In 1990’s two students, Rajiv Goswami and Surinder Singh Chauhan committed self-immolation in protest of Mandal Commission.
  5. There is no information about the number of people belonging to the OBCs category who occupy positions in the state governments. Also no data has been provided by state governments to evaluate the effectiveness of OBC reservation and still the reservation cap has been increased. Similarly the data for SC & ST are obtained from the reports provided by National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. It is to be noted that the Commission is composed of SC politicians, it has been alleged that assessments may be biased.
  6. Successive governments have used reservation as a “Lollipop” to lure the general public but the reservation has not yet reached to the very deprived section of society living in remote areas. Also there has been decrease in women literacy from SC community. The literacy gap for women has widened from 9.66 percent in 1961 to 15.53 percent in 1991.
  7. There have been protests by the people from SC, ST and OBC communities who were not benefited properly from the current reservation system and they demand a separate quota within the SC/ST quota. The conflict of Mala and Madiga Caste in Andhra Pradesh and Gurjjar Agitation in Rajasthan are the best examples.
    SC/ST people belonging from Urban area usually Grabs the advantage of reservation and it has created a Gap between people of same backward community.

    SC/ST people belonging from Urban area usually Grabs the advantage of reservation and it has created a Gap between people of same backward community.

Protests & Agitations for Reservation in India:Since the implementation of reservation there have been many protest especially from people belonging from upper caste as they see it as a direct threat to their educational and carrier growth. There is no doubt that reservation has helped people from backward community to stand and compete with people of upper caste but at the same time the policy has been in implementation from such a long time that now people who are already benefited from this system now their 4th and 5th generation are taking advantage. In its initial days there were protests against reservation but now days there were protest for inclusion of some community in OBC, SC or ST category.

Mandal Commission Protest: It started in 1990 when Central Government headed by V.P Singh which recommended 27% reservation for people belonging to Other Backward Class (O.B.C) in public universities and government jobs. Self-immolation was done by Rajiv Goswami and Surinder Singh Chauhan while protesting against Mandal Commission.

2006 Indian anti-reservation protests: The 2006 reservation protest started when Indian Government decided to implement 27% reservation for OBC community in central and private institutes of higher education. There were series of protests organized by doctors and students against this reservation but it was implemented and these protests slowly died down and eventually ended.

Gurjjar Agitation in Rajasthan: The Gujjar agitation started in Rajasthan in 2008 when they demanded a lower Scheduled Tribe status, instead of their current, higher OBC status. Total 37 people died in these protest.

Patidar Reservation Agitation in Gujrat: The agitation was started by the Patidar community who asked for the status of Other Backward Class. The agitation started in July 2015 in Gujrat and 11 people died in these protests.

Jat Reservation Agitation in Haryana: The Jat reservation agitation started in Haryana in 2016 when Jat community demanded inclusion of Jats in OBC category.

Our View: We know the reservation has been one of the most controversial issue in India and had it been effectively implemented, it would have ceased to exist after 10 years. You would be surprised to know even Babasaheb Ambedkar was not a supporter of reservation and he had stated that it should cease to exist after 10 years of commencement. He believed if the policy is strictly implemented, the secluded group would be able to compete with others. In India reservations have been implemented for last 70 years and it is still going on without any review. The poor and the needy belonging to upper castes are the worst sufferers, because although they are poor they are not classified as weaker section and therefore not entitled for special provisions (Except BPL). Also they lack the power of organized revolution since they do not constitute the group in terms of vote bank. On the other side a study in Karnataka revealed that 13% of rural Dalits are not able to wear clothes or jewellery of their own choice. Another study in Karnataka revealed that 70% of the Dalits were denied participation in the religious processions. Above example shows both the necessity of reservation as well as necessity to review that it includes every section of society. Also discrimination is an area that cannot be handled effectively only by reservation. Inter-Caste marriages should be promoted as they are the best way to reduce the caste barrier. We need strict laws and vigilance to protect the interest of backward class. Also we need expansion of reservation in judiciary as they have very less representation.

There is insufficient representation of people belonging from SC/ST category in judiciary. If this can be overcome a large number of issues can be handled.

There is insufficient representation of people belonging from SC/ST category in judiciary. If this can be overcome a large number of issues can be handled.

The unwanted consequences of reservation are, it had created divergence within the community and made it difficult for reserved category to regain the confidence for open competitions. Second, under the new economic policy in which the privatization has been taking place the reservation has started to lose its meaning. It is difficult for Indian Government to force the reservation policy on USA based MNC’s and more focus is required on proper education and skill development rather than reservation. The final solution is not to scrape the reservation or to continue it till the Earth lasts but to have a proper update of progress made under reservation. The concept of reservation only up-to 2 generations, reservation on the basis of economic conditions and promoting reservation in case of girl child and special provision for SC,ST and OBC belonging to rural areas could be a welcome move. Though in countries like India where fake certificates can be made just by spending 100 Rs it is a difficult task to implement but if proper vigilance is done it is not a hard target to achieve. Also special support is required from people belonging to reserved category and they should not use reservation if they are financially strong but they should allow the same reservation to be used by some needy candidate belonging to the same “caste” or “category”. Remember “No Nation is perfect, it’s perfect because of people living in it.

comment

You may also like...

7 Responses

  1. Nausheen says:

    I am in the favour of reservation
    it should be continue in our country as per the social and economic status of life

  2. Rehan Ahmad XLX says:

    Iam against reservation.
    Your article is good. Thanks

  3. Deepak singh says:

    we should support for aarkshan

  4. K says:

    i think reservation should not be there because we have given enough time for the SC,STand OBC ti rise up.Now they can finanace their own seats in the general quota…….

  5. Saurabh says:

    Reservation is the seed shown by britishers, so that India do not progress in future. They know middle class general candidates have potential to grow India at international level. So that they remain at top and our country open hands in front of them. Yet After 70 years of mostly generals are in defence sector. No caste has ability to compete in this sector.

Leave a Reply to Deepak singh Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share with your friends:

Shares
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

You can get daily updates from Knowledge of India without visiting our website by subscribing to us. All you have to do is to provide your e-mail id and select "Subscribe".

You have successfully Subscribed to Knowledge of India. You will get a mail in your inbox for confirmation. Once done you will never miss any updates from Us.