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File:Caste and Community of
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Caste and community profile
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Sachar Report
Reservation in India
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reservation in India is a form of affirmative action designed to improve the
well being of perceived backward and under represented communities in India.
These are laws wherein a certain percentage of total available slots in
educational institutes and government jobs are set aside for people from
backward communities. Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and
Other Backward Classes (OBC) are the primary beneficiaries of the reservation
policies, while there are also reservation policies for women.
The reservation system has been a matter of contention ever since the British
occupied India and remains a point of conflict. Many citizens who come from the upper classes find this policy of
the government biased and oppose it, since they feel it takes away their rights to equality. But not everyone who
comes from the underprivileged communities support the system because they say it makes them feel
disadvantaged. Thus the reservation system is controversial.
Contents
1 Background of caste based reservation
2 Beneficiary Groups of the Reservation System
2.1 Caste
2.2 Gender
2.3 Religion
2.4 State of Domiciles
2.5 Other
3 Government funding allowing reservations in colleges/universities
4 Excluded from the reservation system
5 History of the Reservations System
6 Advances under the Reservations System
7 Critiques of the Reservations System
8 See also
9 References
10 External links
Background of caste based reservation
A common form of discrimination in India is the practice of untouchability. Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled
Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) are the primary targets of this medieval practice, a practice,
which is outlawed by the Constitution of India.
[1][2]
An untouchable person is considered, "impure, less than
human."
[3]
STs are generally those who have been living in tribal areas, away from modern civilization and
development.
[4]
While the definition of SCs and STs are primarily based on the history of oppression of the
community, the definition of OBCs is more flexible and dynamic, and they are defined based upon the prevailing
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social status of their communities.
[1]
The main objective of the Indian reservation system is to increase the social and educational status of the
underprivileged communities, enabling them to take their rightful place in Indian society.
[5]
The reservation system
exists to provide opportunities for the members of the SCs and STs so as to increase their representation in the
legislature, the executive of the nation and states, the labor force, schools, colleges, and other social institutions.
[4]
The Constitution of India states in article 15(4): "All citizens shall have equal opportunities of receiving education.
Nothing herein contained shall preclude the State from providing special facilities for educationally backward
sections of the population. It also states that The State shall promote with special care the educational and
economic interests of the weaker sections of society (in particular, of the scheduled castes and aboriginal tribes),
and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation." The article further states that nothing in the
Article 15(4) will prevent the nation from helping SCs and STs for their betterment.
[6]
In 1982, the Constitution specified 15% and 7.5% of vacancies in public sector and government-aided educational
institutes, are a quota reserved for the SC and ST candidates respectively for a period of five years, after which the
quota system would be reviewed.
[7]
This period was routinely extended by the succeeding governments. The
Supreme Court of India ruled that reservations cannot exceed 50% (which it judged would violate equal access
guaranteed by the Constitution) and put a cap on reservations.
[8]
However, there are state laws that exceed this
50% limit and these are under litigation in the Supreme Court. For example, the caste-based reservation fraction
stands at 69% and is applicable to about 87% of the population in the state of Tamil Nadu. In 1990, Prime Minister
V.P. Singh announced that 27% of government positions would be set aside for OBC's in addition to the 22%
already set aside for the SCs and STs.
[9]
Beneficiary Groups of the Reservation System
Enrolment in educational institutions and job placements are reserved based on a variety of criteria. The quota
system sets aside a proportion of all possible positions for members of a specific group. Those not belonging to the
designated communities can compete only for the remaining positions, while members of the designated
communities can compete for all positions (reserved and open). For example, when 1 out of 10 clerical positions in
railways are reserved for ex-servicemen, those who have served in the Army can compete both in the General
Category as well as in the specific quota.
Seats are reserved for people under the following criteria:-
Caste
In central government funded higher education institutions, 22.5%
[10]
of available seats are reserved for Scheduled
Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students (15% for SCs, 7.5% for STs).
[10]
This reservation percentage has
been raised to 49.5%,
[10]
by including an additional 27% reservation for OBCs. This ratio is followed even in
Parliament and all elections where a few constituencies are earmarked for those from certain communities (which
keeps rotating as per the Delimitation Commission).
The exact percentages differ from state to state:
In Tamil Nadu, the percentage of reservation is 18%
[10]
for SCs and 1% for STs, being based on
local demographics.
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In Andhra Pradesh, 25% of educational institutes and government jobs for OBCs, 15% for SCs, 6%
for STs and 4% for Muslims.
[11]
In West Bengal, 35% of educational institutes and 45% of government jobs for SC,ST, and OBC.
(25% SC, 12% ST, and 10% Muslim).
Gender
Women get 50%
[12]
reservation in gam panchaa (village assembly - a form of local village government) and
municipal elections. There is a long-term plan to extend this reservation to parliament and legislative assemblies. For
instance, some law schools in India have a 30% reservation for females. Progressive political opinion in India is
strongly in favor of providing preferential treatment to women in order to create a level playing field for all of its
citizens.
The Women's Reservation Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 9 March 2010 by a majority vote of 186
members in favor and 1 against. It will now be forwarded to the Lok Sabha, and if passed there, would be
implemented.
Religion
The Tamil Nadu government has allotted 3.5% of seats each to Muslims and Christians, thereby altering the OBC
reservation to 23% from 30% (since it excludes persons belonging to Other Backward Castes who are either
Muslims or Christians).
[13]
Andhra Pradesh's administration has introduced a law enabling 4% reservations for Muslims. (contested in court)
Kerala Public Service Commission has a quota of 12% for Muslims. Religious minority status educational institutes
also have 50% reservation for their particular religions. The Central government has listed a number of Muslim
communities as backward Muslims, making them eligible for reservation.
State of Domiciles
With few exceptions, all jobs under state government are reserved to those who are domiciles under that
government. In Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, earlier 85% of seats were reserved for Chandigarh
domiciles and now it is 50%. There are also some seat reserved for Jammu and Kashmir migrants in every
Government aided educational institute.
Other
Some reservations are also made for:
Sons/daughters/grandsons/granddaughters of Freedom Fighters
Physically handicapped
Sports personalities
Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) have a small fraction of reserved seats in educational institutions. (Note : NRI
reservations were removed from IIT in 2003)
Candidates sponsored by various organizations
Those who have served in the armed forces (ex-serviceman quota)
Dependents of armed forces personnel killed in action
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Repatriates
Reservation in special schools of Government Undertakings /PSUs meant for the children of their employees
(e.g. Army schools, PSU schools, etc.)
Paid pathway reservations in places of worship (e.g., Tirupathi Balaji]Temple, Tiruthani Murugan (Balaji)
temple)
Seat reservation for Senior citizens/ PH in public bus transport
Government funding allowing reservations in colleges/universities
There is a University Grants Commission (UGC) set up that provides financial assistance to universities for the
establishment of Special Cells for SC/STs. Their purpose is to help universities implement the reservation policy in
the student admissions and staff recruitment processes at teaching and non teaching levels. They also help the
SC/ST categories integrate with the university community and remove the difficulties which they may have
experienced. SC/ST cells like these have been set up in 109 universities. The UCG provides financial assistance to
universities and affiliated colleges for implementation of the Special Cells. It provides the universities with assistance
worth "Rs.1, 00,000/- per annum for:
1. Travelling Allowances & Dearness Allowances for field work
2. Data Collection
3. Analysis and evaluation of statistical data
4. New Computer and Printer (once in a plan period)"
The UGC provides financial assistance only up to the end of the Xth Plan period ending on March 31st, 2007. The
work undertaken by the SC/ST Cells is reviewed at the end of Xth plan. The Xth plan is proposed to ensure that
there is an effective implementation of the reservation policy in admissions, recruitment, allotment of staff quarters,
hostels, etc. Essentially, its goal is to to ensure that the SC/ST Cells are established in the universities.
[4]
Excluded from the reservation system
The following people are not entitled to reserved seats. Meaning that people cannot take advantage of the
reservation system if they fall under the following categories:
Categories for Rule of
Exclusion
Rule of Exclusion Applies to the following:
Constitutional Posts
The sons and daughters of the President of India, the Vice-President of India, Judges of the
Supreme Court, the High Courts Chairman, the members of Union Public Service Commission,
members of the State Public Service Commission, Chief Election Commissioner Comptroller,
Auditor-General of India or any person holding positions of a constitutional nature.
[14]
Service Category: Those who
are considered Group
A/Class I officers of the All
India Central and State
Services (Direct Recruits) or
those who are considered
Group 'B'/ Class II officers of
The Central and State
Services (Direct Recruitment)
Those who have parent(s) that are Class I or Class II officers, or both parents are Class I or
Class II officers but one of them dies or suffers permanent incapacitation. For more visit Pgs
7-8 of [1] (http://ncbc.nic.in/Pdf/OfficeMemorandum.pdf) . The criteria's used for sons and
daughters of Group A and B are the same for the employees of the Public sector.
[14]
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or those who are employees
in the Public Sector.
Armed forces including
Paramilitary Forces (Persons
holding civil posts are not
included).
The sons and daughters of parents either or both of whom is or are in the rank of colonel and
above in the army or in equivalent posts in the Navy, the Air Force, and the Paramilitary
Force. But that will hold true provided that-
1. "the wife of an armed forces officer is herself in the armed forces (i.e., the category
under consideration) the rule of exclusion will apply only when she herself has
reached the rank of Colonel."
2. "the service ranks below Colonel of husband and wife shall not be clubbed together"
3. "if the wife of an officer in the armed forces is in civil employment, this will not be
taken into account for applying the rule of exclusion unless she falls in the service
category under item No.II in which case the criteria and conditions"
[14]
Professional class and those
engaged in Trade and
Industry
If a person has a high paying job such as physician, lawyer, chartered accountant, income tax
consultant, financial or management consultant, dental surgeon, engineer, architect, computer
specialist, film artist or other film professional, author, playwright, sports person, sports
professional, media professional or any other vocations of like status. If the husband holds
one of the above jobs and the wife doesn't then the husband's income will be taken into
consideration and if the wife holds one of the above jobs then the wife's income will be taken
into consideration.The income of the family as a whole will be taken into account because the
whole point of the reservation system is to raise the social status of the people that belong to
the SC's, ST's and OBC's and if a family's income is high already it is considered that it raises
their social status as well.
[14]
Property owners-
Agricultural, Plantations
(Coffee,tea,rubber,etc.),
Vacant land and/or buildings
in urban areas
Sons and daughters of those who have irrigated land area which is equal to or more than 85%
of the statutory ceiling area will be excluded from reservation. They would only be under
reservation if the land is exclusively unirrigated. Those with vacant buildings can use them
for residential, industrial or commercial purposes, hence they are not covered under
reservations.
[14]
Creamy layer
Son(s)/daughter(s) of those who earn 4.5 lakh Rs. or more annually for three consecutive
years are excluded from reservation.
[14]
The creamy layer is only applicable in the case of Other Backward Castes and not applicable on other group like
SC or ST. Though the efforts are also being made to do so. In some state the reservation within reservation has
been made but creamy layer as such is applicable in OBCs only.
History of the Reservations System
The Reservation system has a long history and has been debated before and after Indian Independence from the
British in 1947.
Reservations in favor of Backward Classes (BCs) were introduced long before independence in a large area,
comprising the Presidency areas and the Princely states south of the Vindhyas. In 1882, Hunter Commission was
appointed. Mahatma Jyotirao Phule made a demand of free and compulsory education for everyone along with
proportionate reservation in government jobs.
[6]
In 1891, there was a demand for reservation of government jobs
with an agitation (in the princely State of Travancore) against the recruitment of non-naie into public service
overlooking qualified naie people.
[6]
In 1901,reservations were introduced in Maharashtra (in the Princely State
of Kolhapur) by Shahu Maharaj.
[6]
Chatrapati Sahuji Maharaj, Maharaja of Kolhapur in Maharashtra introduced
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reservation in favour of non-Brahmin and backward classes as early as 1902. He provided free education to
everyone and opened several hostels in Kolhapur to make it easier for everyone to receive the education. He also
made sure everyone got suitable employment no matter what social class they belonged. He also appealed for a
class-free India and the abolition of untouchability. The notification of 1902 created 50% reservation in services for
backward classes/communities in the State of Kolhapur. This is the first official instance (Government Order)
providing for reservation for depressed classes in India.
[15]
In 1908, reservations were introduced in favour of a number of castes and communities that had little share in the
administration by the British.
[6]
There were many other reforms in favor of and against reservations before the
Indian Independence itself.
Even after the Indian Independence there were some major changes in favor of the STs, SCs and OBCs. One of
the most important occurred in 1979 when the Mandal Commission was established to assess the situation of the
socially and educationally backward classes.
[16]
The commission did not have exact figures for a sub-caste, known
as the Other Backward Class(OBC), and used the 1930
[17]
census data, further classifying 1,257 communities as
backward, to estimate the OBC population at 52%.
[17]
In 1980 the commission submitted a report, and
recommended changes to the existing quotas, increasing them from 22% to 49.5%.
[16]
As of 2006 number of castes
in Backward class list went up to 2297 which is the increase of 60% from community list prepared by Mandal
commission. But it wasn't until the 1990s that the recommendations of the Mandala Commission were implemented
in Government Jobs by Vishwanath Pratap Singh.
[18]
Many states wanted to change their reservation policies, and
in 2010 the Supreme Court held that if the state wants to frame rules regarding reservation in promotions and
consequential seniority, it has to provide quantifiable data that is there is backwardness, inadequacy of
representation in public employment and overall administrative inefficiency. Unless such an exercise is undertaken
by the state government, the rules in promotions and consequential seniority cannot be introduced.
The concept of untouchability was not practiced uniformly throughout the country; therefore the identification of
oppressed classes was difficult to carry out. Allegedly, the practice of segregation and untouchability prevailed
more in the southern parts of India as opposed to in Northern India. Furthermore, certain castes/ communities,
considered "untouchable" in one province were not in other provinces.
[19]
The continuous efforts of some of the
social reformers of the country like Rettamalai Srinivasa Paraiyar, Ayothidas Pandithar, Jyotiba Phule, Babasaheb
Ambedkar, Chhatrapati Sahu ji Maharaj and others, worked to eradicate "casteism".
Advances under the Reservations System
The public sector jobs are divided into 4 categories:Class I (or Group A), Class II (or Group B), Class III (or
Group C) and Class IV (or Group D). The Class I employees take up 2.2% of the public sector workforce, the
Class II employees take up 3.3% of the public sector workforce,the Class III employees take up 66.8% of the
public sector workforce, and the Class IV employees take up 27.2% of the public sector workforce.
[20]
Below are
the percentages of the SC employees in the Central government
[20]
:
Class 1959 1965 1974 1984 1995
I 1.18 1.64 3.2 6.92 10.12
II 2.38 2.82 4.6 10.36 12.67
III 6.95 8.88 10.3 13.98 16.15
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IV 17.24 (excludes sweepers) 17.75 18.6 20.2 21.26 (excludes sweepers)
The above table shows that over time as the new laws for the reservation systems were passed employment of
SC's in Class I,II,III, and IV public sectors increased substantially.
Critiques of the Reservations System
A larger part of the Indian population does not fall under the categories of SCs, STs or OBCs. According to the
2001 census, the SCs and STs represent 24.90% of the population, out of which 16.20% are SCs and 8.10% are
STs.
[21]
Since these castes are a minority and yet hold more jobs than the rest of the Indian population, there is a
debate over the system. The following arguments have been put forth by Anti-Reservationists and Pro-
Reservationists.
Anti-Reservationists Pro-Reservationists
Lower castes no longer accept that their lower economic status, lower position
in the social hierarchy and lack of respect from members of higher castes are a
given in their social existence.
[9]
Men should remain in the same occupation
and station of their life as their forefathers
was a part of religious precepts and social
customs in India.
[9]
Opponents are unhappy because they believe that a moral injustice is being
committed and equality of opportunity is eroded because of the reservation
system. They are against the reservations because appointments are made on
the basis of membership in a caste not considering that the individual is
socially or economically handicapped. They also believe that reservations are
used for political benefits rather than social benefits.
[9]
The OBCs should get a greater share in
administrative positions because political
power resides in Indias administrative
positions. They view political power as a
way to get economic benefits, of which
they have been deprived.
[9]
They believe that reservations do not take into account merits and
achievements and those who do not deserve hold certain positions get those
positions because of reservations and this could lead to deterioration of public
services.
[9]
They believe they should get reservations
because they have been victims of the
Brahmin-dominated caste system and
reservations as a part of the struggle
against the oppression and for changing
Indias social structure away from
hierarchy.
[9]
"India will remain trapped in the caste paradigm." The Reservation Policy is not
helping out as much as it is harming.
[22]
Supporters of quotas have argued that
they have been successful in Southern
state, where they have been used
extensively.
[22]
See also
Court Cases Relating to India's Reservation System
Women's Reservation Bill India
Dhangar Scheduled tribe issue
Nationalization
Socialism
Caste politics in India
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Reservation policy in Tamil Nadu
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Laskar, Mehbubul Hassan. "Rethinking Reservation in Higher Education in India"


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Kohli, Atul (2001). The Scce of India' Democac. Cambridge University Press. pp. 193
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[people.virginia.edu/~ss5mj/Peereffects_April12_2011.pdf "Affirmative Action and Peer Effects: Evidence


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"Judgement Writ Petition (Civil) No.930 of 1990 Indira Sawhney Versus Union of India And others
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(16.11.1992)" (http://ncbc.nic.in/Pdf/OfficeMemorandum.pdf) . Naional Commiion fo Backad Clae.
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Bhattacharya, Amit. "Who are the OBCs?"


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Ramaiah, A (6 June 1992). "Identifying Other Backward Classes"


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"Chapter 3- An Assessment of Reservations (Pg 32)"


(http://www.ambedkar.org/News/reservationinindia.pdf) . Ne. Dalit Bahujan Media.
http://www.ambedkar.org/News/reservationinindia.pdf. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
21. ^ "Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Population 2001 Census - India"
(http://delhiplanning.nic.in/Economic%20Survey/ES2007-08/T18.pdf) . Planning Depamen.
http://delhiplanning.nic.in/Economic%20Survey/ES2007-08/T18.pdf. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
22. ^

"We have a few reservations" (http://www.economist.com/node/6980109) . The Economist.


http://www.economist.com/node/6980109. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
External links
Central List of Other Backward Classes (http://www.ncbc.nic.in/backward-classes/index.html)
Why reservation for OBCs is a must. By V. B. Rawat (http://www.countercurrents.org/dalit-
ravat180406.htm)
The Myth of Inefficiency. By Sheetal Sharma (http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article22.html)
Radical Notes - Common School System and the Future of India. Anil Sadgopal. (28 Feb 2008)
(http://radicalnotes.com/content/view/61/39) (On Right to Education)
Radical Notes - Beyond the Judiciary - Reservation as Reparation. Saswat Pattanayak (19 April 2007)
(http://radicalnotes.com/content/view/41/39/)
Critics slam India's education quotas (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7371752.stm) - BBC Article on
Reverse Discrimination in the Indian Reservation System
Anti Reservation official website, AntiReservation.Com (http://www.antireservation.com:)
Supreme Court Upholds 27% OBC Quota (http://www.india-server.com/news/supreme-court-upholds-
obc-quota-in-135.html)
Reservations: Towards a larger perspective (http://www.obcreservation.com/ver1/index.php?
option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=74)
Anti Reservation Protest (http://www.funonthenet.in/content/view/277/31/)
3/4/12 Reservation in India - Wikipedia, the free encclopedia
10/10 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reservation_in_India
Computing Backward Index (http://www.obcreservation.com/ver1/index.php?
option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=86)
Reservation as viewed by Indian industry (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1499633.cms)
Southern record - Frontline (http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2308/stories/20060505006400800.htm)
Government Jobs and Reservations in India (http://governmentjobsinindia.net/)
Reservation policy forum article (http://www.aippg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=33195)
Examining reservation (http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2308/stories/20060505004600400.htm)
Reservation must for a healthy society
(http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/apr222006/update141432006422.asp)
Multiple Index Related Affirmative Action (An Alternative Proposal)
(http://www.sabrang.com/cc/archive/2006/june06/report3.html)
Reservation as viewed by a backward class proponent (http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnist1.asp?
main_variable=Columnist&file_name=prasad%2Fprasad157.txt&writer=prasad)
Questioning Reservation (http://www.countercurrents.org/dalit-ravat180406.htm)
Reservations as viewed by one OBC faculty member (http://www.rediff.com/news/2006/jun/09guest.htm)
An Alternative Suggestion (http://www.rediff.com/news/2006/jul/25guest.htm)
Reservations have worked in Southern States (http://in.rediff.com/news/2006/may/16inter2.htm)
UP introduces voluntary reservation in private sector (http://www.business-
standard.com/common/storypage_c.php?leftnm=10&autono=294131)
Rangnath Commission recommends 10% quota for Muslims (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/rangnath-
commission-recommends-10-quota-for-muslims/556065/)
Reservation will not help Muslims, will only open Pandora's box (http://www.newkerala.com/news/fullnews-
15186.html)
Govt Jobs (http://www.latestgovtjobs.com/)
Bull's Eye (http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?234414)
Latest Govt Jobs (http://www.govtjobsalert.com/)
Reservations in Indian Government Jobs (http://www.jobsindiaonline.info/reservations-in-indian-government-
jobs/) at JobsIndiaOnline.info
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Categories: Indian law Politics of India Reservation in India Other Backward Classes
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