24 Jan RESERVATION IN INDIA
RESERVATION IN INDIA
Reservation in India is a form of affirmative action whereby a share/percentage of seats is reserved for marginalized/backward sections of society who are inadequately represented in public institutions.
Relevance for Prelims: Affirmative Action by state
Relevance for Mains: Reservation in India and its need in contemporary times
Given that our country is in midst of a growth process, it is important to articulate the weigh the advantages and fallouts of reservation policy.
NEED OF RESERVATION IN INDIA AT THE PRESENT TIME
- Preamble: The affirmative action policy creates a social order which is one of the foremost objectives of the preamble to secure underprivileged sectors in society to ensure equity.
- Increased Oppression: Violence related to caste has increased substantially. (NCRB Report 2021). A peaceful and inclusive society remains a distant dream.
- Equal Opportunities: Many ethnic groups/financially backward groups have been historically excluded from society which makes them backward. In order to ensure equality and equity, the government has passed the 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act.
NEED TO RELOOK AT THE RESERVATION POLICY
- Casteism: Demand for reservation has also fueled ideologies based upon caste which hinders the social capital of the country. Reservation further divides the people based on primordial identities.
- Death of Meritocracy: The reservation policy has carved out majority space for backward sections of society which provide the selection of candidates at a lesser threshold which denigrates the individual from the general category.
- Administrative Efficiency: The decreased threshold for entry into civil services could also impact administrative efficiency given the person in the future holds very strategic positions.
- Vote Bank Politics: The government in order to secure a majority in elections generally garner votes in name of caste and religion to provide them reservation in return after winning the elections. Example: Lingayats in Karnataka, Patidar Community in Gujarat, Marathas in Maharashtra.
The apex court held that the reservation is not a matter of right but should be purely based on quantifiable data (Nagaraj Judgment) to prove the backwardness of the SC/ST community. The rationalization of reservation would not only ensure meritocracy but help India to ensure equitable growth to achieve new heights.
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