Reservation in India is the process to facilitate the backward section of the society in scholarship, education, and jobs. It is designed for people who have encountered historical injustice and for people belonging to scheduled cast or scheduled tribes. Reservation is offered in the form of quota-based affirmative action and it is governed by constitutional laws, local rules & regulations, and statutory laws. The reservation system in India combines a variety of initiatives like reserving access to seats in government jobs, legislatures, and to enrolment in higher studies.
Reservation System in India:
Why Reservation in India Was Launched?
The Reservation System in India was launched with the prime focus to solve the historic oppression, discrimination, and inequality that were suffered by specific communities and to give them the deserved place in society. It was designed actually to achieve the promise of equality preserved in the Indian constitution.
The Reservation System in India was introduced with the prime objective to improvise the educational and social status of all the underprivileged communities in India and to improvise their lifestyle.
The Historical Background and Constitutional Provisions for Reservation in India
Reservation System in India was actually introduced back in 2nd Century BC when the upper class of the society benefitted from some additional privileges. The concept of caste-based reservation in India was conceived back in 1882 mainly by Jyotirao Phule and William Hunter. But, many reforms and changes were made in the reservation system that exists today. The first reform or alteration in the reservation system was done back in 1933 when Prime Minister Ramsey MacDonald from British Company presented Communal Award. Many changes were made in the reservation system and separate electorates for different castes were launched. There were separate electorates for Dalits, Europeans, Anglo-Indians, Indian Christians, Sikhs, and Muslims.
When Mahatma Gandhi came to India he opposed this Communal Award, but BR Ambedkar supported it. To stabilize the situation, a pact called Poona Pact was signed under which the nation would be having a single electorate for Hindu, with a specific percentage of seats reserved for Dalits.
In the 90s, there were some recommendations of Mandal Commission which were integrated into government jobs, and scholarships also. Below are the constitutional provisions for the Reservation System in India.
Part XVI of the Indian Constitution deals with the Reservation for Scheduled Castes or SC and Scheduled Tribes or ST in state and federal legislatures.
The Constitutional Authority of President in India is focused on setting up the commissions for assessing and recommending remedies and solutions for the welfare of ST and SC sections.
There is Article 15(4) and 16(4) in the Indian Constitution which extends the overall privileges or benefits of the Reservation to educationally and socially backward classes.
Why There is a Hike in The Demand of Reservation System in India?
- Unemployment – This is the major factor that is influencing the demand for Reservation System in India
- Agriculture Crisis – Patels in Gujrat, Jats in Haryana, and Kapus in Andhra Pradesh have a firm belief that caste-based reservation in India can provide them with the solution to fight with rural distress mainly the crisis in agriculture
- Salaries and Wages – Public Sector salaries are quite higher than the private sector and salaries for entry-level government jobs are very attractive and higher due to which there is a high demand for Reservation Systems in India for ST and SC.
- Privilege – The demand for reservation system also increases in India from the fear of losing the privileges and the incapacity to deal with the changes.
These were some of the reasons why the demand for the Reservation System in India is increasing.