Reservation in India

Reservation in India

Introduction –

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India has a history of structural inequality based on the administration of people into caste and cultural groups. The former is the ill-famed caste system of India which is the societal administration of Hindus who comprise 80 per cent of the Indian population. In this system people are divided into different groups and assigned unequal societal places and different rights which are determined by birth. The caste system ensures favoritism against every caste except that which is at the top, but the Harijans now known as the Scheduled Castes suffered the most. They were forced to manual labor and other occupations which were considered impure and polluting ; in add-on to this they were denied the right to make concern or ain belongings. They were even denied the right to education along with civil, cultural and spiritual rights. Besides, they have been made to endure from residential segregation and societal isolation because they are considered impure and polluting and non suit for societal association by the high castes.

Another group of people that have suffered greatly are theAdiwasis,they were subjected to isolation, exclusion, disregard and underdevelopment owing to their geographical location and cultural exclusivity. In 2001, the SCs and the STs ( Scheduled Tribes or the Adiwasis ) accounted for 17 per cent and 8 per cent of the Indian population, severally. Together they constituted one-fifth ( 250 million ) of India’s population: SCs, 167 million and STs, 86 million.

Exclusion and Inequality

The nature of the exclusion and inequalities suffered by the SC’s and the ST’s is the ground for the terrible poorness suffered by them. This is shown in their deficiency of entree to income gaining capital assets ( agricultural land and concern ) ; instruction ; employment ; deficiency of civil, cultural and political rights ; and eventually, in poorness and malnutrition. In general the SC’s are less educated and suffer from high grade of poorness and are denied equal civil rights. Around 70 % of the SC/ST population lives in rural countries. The per family plus that is brooding of the disparity in wealth worked out to Rs 49,180 for SCs as against Rs 1, 34,500 for Non SC/ST. During 1991-2001, about 81,786 instances of atrociousnesss were registered with the constabulary by the SCs under Anti-Untouchability Act ( or Civil Rights Act ) of 1955 and Atrocity Act of 1989. In entire, 2, 85, 871 instances of favoritism and force had been registered. However, the existent magnitude is much higher, as is reflected in the primary surveies. [ 1 ]

Constitutional Commissariats

India’s reserve policy is authorised by the Indian Constitution under Article 46 which provinces that, “The State shall advance with particular attention the educational and economic involvements of the weaker subdivisions of the people, and, in peculiar, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from societal unfairness and all signifiers of development.” [ 2 ]

This proviso in the fundamental law relates to authorities services, instruction, political representation and others.

Governmental Servicess

Article 16 ( 4 ) of the Indian Constitution allows the province to do “any proviso for the reserve in assignments, or stations in favor of any backward category of citizens” [ 3 ] , moreover article 16 ( 4A ) enables the province to do any proviso for the publicity of the backward classes. [ 4 ] This reserve policy in the authorities sector is necessary for the upliftment of the scheduled categories and the scheduled folk from the poorness in which they were forced to by the historical favoritism against them.


The proviso relates to non-discrimination in educational institutes, equal representations and steps for educational publicities. Article 15 ( 4 ) of the Indian Constitution provinces that, “Nothing in this article shall forestall the State from doing any particular proviso for the promotion of any socially and educationally backward categories of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes” [ 5 ] This proviso is the footing for reserve in the educational establishments that gives the laden classes the opportunity for a better life, off from the poorness and suffering life conditions which were a consequence of the favoritism meted out to them.


The Constitution besides provides for reserve in political relations for the laden categories for equal representation in determination devising. This reserve is in proportion to their population in the state. Article 330 provides for reserve in the Central Legislative assemblies [ 6 ] , Article 332 is for legislative assemblies of the State [ 7 ] , Article 243T for Municipality organic structures [ 8 ] and Article 243D is for panchayat degree establishments. [ 9 ]

The reserve policy in India at present is confined to the Government sector, the private sector which employees around 90 per centum of the laden categories is excluded from the horizon of reserve. In the absence of reserve

policy in the private sector, the province has used ‘general programmes’ for economic, educational and societal authorization of the SC/ST. The focal point has been to better the private ownership of fixed capital assets ( land and non-land ) , instruction, and improved entree to societal demands like lodging, wellness, imbibing H2O, electricity and others. The scheme for bettering or constructing the private ownership of capital assets, instruction and societal demands, which has been by and large taken as a portion of the anti-poverty programme, is besides used as a method of allowing quotas in an informal mode for the SC/ST population of the state.

Consequences of the Reservation Policy

There has been a noticeable addition in the figure of SC/ST employees in the Government Sector. To get down with the employment sector, there has been a dramatic addition in the Numberss of SC/ST authorities employees. In 1960, there were 2,18,000 SC employees which increased to 6,41,000 in 1991 and 5,40,000 in 2003. The corresponding addition in the per centum of SC employees to entire authorities employees increased from 12 per cent in 1956 to about 16 per cent in 2003 – reasonably proportionate to their per centum portion in population. In the instance of ST, the Numberss increased from about 3,80,000 in 1960 to 2,03,000 in 1991 and further up to 2,11,000 in 2003 ; a corresponding addition in per centum from 2 per cent in 1960 to 6 per cent in 2003. Similarly, the figure of employees in public sector project has increased from 40,000 in 1970 to 2,96,000 in 2003 for SC and from 12,000 to 1,38,000 for ST during the several old ages. In instance of nationalized Bankss, the figure has increased from 4,000 in 1972 to 1,43,000 in 2000 for SC and from 400 to 43,000 for ST during the same period. The corresponding per centum has increased from 1.89 to 13.32 per cent for SC and from 00.19 per cent to 4 per cent for ST. Similarly, the figure of SC employees in nationalized Bankss increased from 55,000 in 1978 ( 10 per cent ) to l,33,000 in 2004 ( 17 per cent ) and for ST the figure increased from 8,000 ( 1.5 per cent ) to 44,000 ( 5.72 per cent ) . In public insurance companies the figure of SC employees increased from 14 1000s in 1993 ( 14 per cent ) to 20 1000s ( 16 per cent ) in 2000. The figure of ST employees increased from 5,000 ( 5 per cent ) to 8,000 ( 6 per cent ) during the same period. If we take the entire figure of employees in three services – authorities, public sector project and public sector Bankss – we will detect that the figure of employees in these three services has increased from 7,88,000 to 9,10,000 for SCs and from 2,45,000 to 3,69,000 for STs during the period, 1978-2004. The per centum of entire employees besides improved between 1978 and 2004 ; from 15 per cent to 17 per cent in the instance of SCs and from 4.7 per cent to 6.9 per cent in the instance of STs. If we besides include the public sector insurance companies along with the aforesaid three services, so the aggregative figure of employees in the employment sector for the twelvemonth 2000 ( the latest twelvemonth for which comparable informations is available ) comes to 10,70,000 for SCs and 423,000 for STs. It may be mentioned that these do non include many other authorities domains like educational establishments and others. If we did, the absolute figure of employees in reserved seats will increase further. [ 10 ]

As can be seen by the above given Numberss, the figure of the laden categories in the Government Services has improved significantly, this is a direct consequence of the reserve policy that the Government of India follows.


The Legislative commissariats for reserve are provided specifically in the Constitution of India. Legislative seats are reserved in proportion to the population of S/C’s and S/T’s in the State. In 2004, 75 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha were reserved for SC’s and 41 seats were reserved for ST’s. The entire reserve in the State assembly seats totalled to over 2000. The major job with political reserve is that the Government delays the updating of the per centum for reserve. The 2004 reserve Numberss were the same as that of 1970, but the study of 2001 showed that there should be an addition in the figure of seats to be reserved as the population of the scheduled folks and the scheduled categories had increased. Therefore both the groups suffered from under representation.

Human Development Factors

Over clip, there has been a positive betterment in the human development of SC/STs. The positive alterations are reflected in the aggregative indexs of human development – income degree, employment, societal demands like instruction and wellness, and finally, in poorness. During 1983/84 and 1999/2000, we observed an betterment in the monthly per capita ingestion outgo ( proxy index for income ) , literacy rate and incidence of poorness of SC/STs. As mentioned earlier, the portion of SC/ST employees in authorities sector has significantly improved and seemingly, it had positive multiplier effects on the societal and economic state of affairs of these two disadvantaged groups. However, it needs to be recognized that, although there has been some betterment as reflected in some of these indexs, betterment in relation to non-SC/ST is low, or lower than the rate which is required to bridge the spread between SC/ST and Non SC/ST groups. Hence, the disparities between SC/STs and non-SC/ST have non been reduced well so as to bridge the spread to a sensible degree. Consequently, the socially marginalized groups of SC/STs slowdown behind the non-SC/ST subdivision of the Indian population with regard to achieving the desirable degree in human development. For case, in 2000, the infant mortality rate was higher among the SC/STs as compared to non-SC/ST. Similarly, compared with non-SC/ST, the literacy rate among the SC/STs is lower by 14 per cent and 21 per cent, severally. The SC/STs’ monthly per-capita outgo is less by about 25 per cent and 34 per cent severally, as compared with ingestion outgo of non-SC/ST. Again compared with non-SC/ST, the incidence of aggregative poorness is 70 per cent and about 100 per cent higher among the SC/STs severally. The per centum of under-nourished kids among the SC/STs is higher by 23 per cent and 27 per cent, severally. Finally, the SC/STs’ entree to public wellness services, compared with non-SC/ST, is less by 23 per cent and 44 per cent. Therefore, despite an betterment at the degree of single indexs, the degree of human development among the SC/STs as compared to non-SC/ST in 2000 is comparatively lower. [ 11 ]


Based on the history of subjugation in India against the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes the Government has developed the affirmatory action policy of India more normally referred to as the reserve policy. The laden categories make up about 1/5Thursdayof the entire population of the state and therefore it is indispensable that the Government protects them from favoritism and ensures that they get equal representation in determination devising etc. This is ensured by the reserve policy, and the Numberss show that the reserve policy of India is working, therefore it is critical for the reserve policy to go on every bit long as the mentality of the higher castes does non alter in regard to the laden categories.



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