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Is There Any Need For Reforming Reservation System In India?

The concept of reservation was included in the Constitution to give underprivileged classes the opportunity to catch up with so-called privileges. The Constitution of India has attempted to bring equal opportunity and status to society through its various provisions[1]. It is true that the drafters of the Constitution had the honest intent behind the inclusion of reservations in the Constitution, but now, when we look at the issue in more detail, India's reservations deviate from its main purpose.

Today, political parties are busy building voting banks with reserved weapons. On the other hand, resistance plays a major role in dividing Indian society by caste and beliefs. The purpose of this article is to discover the problem and provide some preliminary solutions to India's reservation policy.

Introduction
This reservation is the result of various levels of government law, guidelines and administrative measures in India, included with reserved or exclusive access to the seats of various legislative bodies, government agencies, and registration with higher education institutions. This is a form of affirmative action in which some of the seats in parliament, legislative bodies, central and state services, and educational institutions are reserved for the socially and economically underdeveloped population.

Article 340 provides for the establishment of a committee to investigate the situation of these socially and educationally disadvantaged groups and issue recommendations on measures to improve their situation. All of these provisions aim to rapidly promote weak groups to ensure equality of status and opportunity, which in turn promotes fraternity, unity and integrity of the country. In the discussion of the Constituent assembly, Dr. B.R. Amberdkar emphasized the need to promote social and economic equality in order to make democracy meaningful and functional.[2]

The majority of India's population lags behind socially, educationally and politically. The Backward class was categorized as a Schedule caste, a Schedule tribe, and other Backward classes. The Government of India has enacted a quota system by law. This reserves a certain percentage of jobs for backward class employment in government and public sector units, and in all public and private institutions, but no in minority run institutes.

This system was created to mitigate the retreat of socially and educationally underdeveloped communities and schedule castes and schedule tribes that do not have adequate representation in government services and educational institutions. The Reservation policy will also be extended to schedule castes and scheduled tribes for representatives in the Indian Parliament.

Judicial Pronouncement On Reservation

Article 15 (4) of the Constitution of India provides for the promotion of socially and educationally underdeveloped Backward classes, Schedule castes and Schedule tribes. This clause (4) was added by the First Constitutional Amendment Act of 1951 as a result of the Madras State v. Champakam DoraiRajan[3] decision. In this case, the Madras government reserved seats for state medical colleges and engineering colleges in various communities based on religion, race, and caste.

This was challenged in court for violating Article 15 (1) of the Constitution. The state upheld the law because it was enacted in accordance with Article 46 of the DPSP with the aim of promoting social justice for all populations. The SC classified students by caste, religion, etc. rather than merit, and therefore considered the religion, race, and caste seat reservation method invalid.

To change the effect of the SC decision above, Article 15 has been amended and clause (4) has been added. This provision allows the State to make special provision for advancement of socially and educationally backward classes or schedule caste and schedule tribes. Article 15 (4) is a valid provision and does not require the state to take any special action under this provision. It is the state's discretion to reserve as needed.

For reservation under Article 15 (4), you need to make two decisions: 1) Who are the socially and educationally backward classes? 2) What are the limits of reservation? The Indian Constitution did not define a "backward class" anywhere. Article 46 uses another term, "weaker sections of the people." This interprets the SC as including all parts of people who are vulnerable due to reasons such as poverty and physical and natural disabilities. In addition, Article 16 (4) uses "backward class of citizen".

In the Balaji v. State of Mysore[4] proceedings, under Article 15 (4), the Government of Mysore issued an order to reserve seats for state medical colleges and engineering college as follows:
  1. Backward and More backward classes 50%
  2. Scheduled castes 15%, and
  3. Scheduled tribes 3%.

Thus general 68% seats had been reserved. The validity of order turned into challenged with the aid of using the candidate now no longer getting admission. Court held that sub class made with the aid of using order among backward and More backward turned into now no longer justified under Article 15 (4).

It turned into additionally held that the `caste` shall now no longer be the only foundation for figuring out the backwardness. `Backwardness` have to be social and educational and now no longer both social or educational. Thus, the authorities got here to the belief that similarly research turned into essential a good way to tool a few potential standards to specify the socially and educationally backward lessons to be able to provide them help in all appropriate way.

In Indira Sawhney v. UOI[5], commonly known as the Mandal Commission case, is the SC's primary position on the issue of reservation post for the backward classes. In 1990, the Center's VP Singh government issued an official memorandum, accepting the recommendations of the Mandal Commission, and Announced the reservation of 27% of the socially and educationally backward classes in government and service vacancies under the Government of India. The Memorandum of Understanding was challenged in front of the SC and was reviewed by the 9th Judge.

The main positive aspects of SC can be highlighted here:
  1. Over all reservation is limited to a maximum of 50% in a year.
  2. Creamy layer should be excluded from the backward class.

In the case of the TM Pai Foundation[6], Islamic Academy[7], and PA Inamdar[8], the SC found that the state was unable to reserve seats for admission to private educational institutions. To remove the effects of all the above cases, Parliament has added a new clause (5)[9] to Article 15 that allows the state to make reservations in private educational institutions as well.

However, this clause does not affect minority-led institutions under Article 30 (1) of the Constitution of India. It is now clear that the state is free to reserve even in private institutions. The question arises here. What are the restrictions on reservations released by the SC in the Balraj case? In this case, the SC found that the state could only reserve up to 50% of the seats.

Flaws Of Reservation Policy

India is currently facing many challenges as a developing country, including the reservation system. Today, when a student applies for admission to a university, the admission form will be filled with questions about the student's category, such as SC / ST or OBC or General / Open Category. But it's not the caste that matters, only his merits. Categories cannot determine whether they are allowed or not.

There are many children in the upper grades who are financially worse, but simply falling into the "general" category does not receive this unwilling result. backward classes children, on the other hand, sit without any benefit simply because they belong to a particular religion or caste reserved by the government. The biggest question that arises is whether the implementation of this reservation system really helped those who were oppressed.

The answer to this question is 'No'. Reservations were only for 10 years after independence. But now it's been almost 70 years since the policy was implemented. Instead of lifting reservation criteria, the government occasionally increased them through changes and new legislation.

There are numerous problems associated with reservation:
  1. According to a large section of the Indian society, reservation is against the Constitutional policies which provide for discrimination on the basis of caste, religion or sex. Constitutional Provisions:
    To fulfil the aim of Indian Constitution (casteless and classless society), preferential treatment is given under Articles 15(4), 15(5) and 16(4) enables the state to act positively in the direction of uplifting the weaker elements in the society by making a reasonable classification.
     
  2. Reservation has shifted from policies that uprising oppressed people to means of political abuse. Many politicians have removed the shield of reservation, causing chaos and turmoil within certain classes of society. Politicians occasionally used reservation policies to create votes banks. In their enthusiasm to ensure the success of the election, the reality of the election is ignored and all attention is focused on the desires of specific sections of society.
     
  3. The academic grades required for students to get admission to a good educational institution are different. For the open-category students, the grades required are too high as compared to the reserved category students. For this reason, although there are merits, many students have not been able to go on to these educational institutions.
     
  4. Most of the persons belonging to reserved category are using the reservation benefits even though they have all the means to live a great life and to fulfil all their requirements. The benefits of reservation policy always remain confined to the upper strata of the backward classes.

    Thus, results in the creation of an elite group, which monopolises all the employment opportunities. They refuse to divulge the odds of the actual beneficiaries and the lots they earn.

    A caste monopoly can be defined as the difference between the percentage of government jobs held by a caste category and its proportion of the population. On the other hand, many people belonging to open-category are finding it difficult to make both ends meet; yet they do not have any support from the government. Their very caste is sufficient enough to make people assume that they are self-sufficed.
     
  5. There is no data to determine who will receive the benefits of the reservation. There is no proper observation on the reservation policy.
     
  6. If we interpret the words used in article 15(4)[10], it is found that the state is authorised to make special provisions for the educational and social advancement of backward classes or SCs and STs. Phrase "educational advancement" does not mean reservation. It is the executive or judiciary who interpreted this phrase in such manner and used reservation in education as apparatus for educational advancement.

Suggestions:
The current scenario in our country shows that "backward" caste is still discriminated against in everyday life. It's time for the government to take certain actions and change reservation policies to ensure that people in need receive the support they need and social services are implemented.
  • Merit Sacrificed:
    Recruitment on the basis of merit is envisaged to secure the best talent available and utilised in the service of the country. Merit is fixed as a criterion for entry into government services in order to avert nepotism, corruption and favouritism in the recruitment process. Provision for reservation policy would impede the intention behind recruitment on merit basis by creating a separate set of rules in the recruitment process. In addition to merit caste also becomes a criterion for recruitment. Professions like teaching, engineering and medical practices which are extremely vital to the development and welfare of the country will be severely affected by deterioration in standard and quality.
     
  • Classification of creamy layers requires a surprisingly careful approach. i.e., Consistency of creamy layer classification and cream should be a form factor. In addition, it is highly recommended to apply the creamy layer concept to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribal Elite Classes. It is also suggested that the creamy layer scheme should be properly reviewed scientifically and in a timely manner.
     
  • Both central and state governments should be required to review, evaluate, and change both long-term and short-term policies from time to time in order to develop better plans and programs to promote oppressed people. First of all, the government needs to maintain a database of people who are actually benefiting from reservation. Such databases should be open to the public and need to perform an annual observation of your reservation policy.
     
  • It also suggests that reservation criteria need to be economical, as many people and classes live in very bad conditions rather than only the lower classes. There are many people in society who fall under the schedule castes and schedule tribes but are not financially backtracked. They are as good as people in the general category, but they also get the benefits of reservation. Vice versa can also be apprehended true that there are so many persons who come under the general category but are as backward as a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled tribe person.
     
  • Reservation at promotional stages should not be given to anybody because it can create inefficiency in administration as well as in candidate also. If reservation is necessary to SC/ST at promotional stages in the name of social justice, percentage of reservation should very low and it should be given to OBCs also.
     
  • Regarding political safeguard or reservation to backward class under Article 320. It is often complained that the political parties and the government in power wanted to sustain the reservations, just for the sake of getting votes of the backward classes and to reserve them as their party's solid vote banks. Therefore, suggestion is; it is the right time to abolish such type of reservation by constitutional amendment. Because due to this reservation politics is becoming dirty day by day.
     
  • Reservation on basis of religion and minority should be prohibited. If any attempt is taken by an authority or state government, not only strict action but penal actions should be taken against because reservation on minority basis will increase conversion of religion which could not be consider a healthy practice in the line building casteless or egalitarian Indian society.
     
  • It is highly recommended that this is the time to strictly limit reservations to only one generation. Since the advantage of reservation is such a drug, its widespread use is said to have proven to be harmful to each class or community and even to society.
     
  • It needs to be reconsidered. It is necessary to remove the feeling of caste. How do you close this deeply rooted cultural gap? Government action alone cannot do this. All that is required is that the reservation must eventually disappear in the mind.
     
  • Caste cannot be assumed as the relevant criteria for classification of backwardness, but educational level, geographical location, poverty and occupation should be taken into consideration for the reservation policy. (Hassan lascar, 2010).
     
  • Chauhan (2008). Based on the Empirical method of the study and found out that the government should provide attractive financial incentives to enhance the enrolment of ST children at the upper primary and secondary levels. Problems due to their geographical and environmental location, the government should set up more schools in the vicinity of their habitations. Perhaps the services of voluntary agencies may be tapped, by helping them to open non-formal education centers, pre-primary schools, Incentives and Financial Assistance to individual backward class, wanting to pursue higher studies.

Conclusion
The author now concludes his work by stating that the backward class should not be delayed forever to be backward. The Indian Constitution does not allow this. Reservation policy is a first aid, not a permanent cure for backward problems. In order to properly implement reservation policies, governments need to take steps to determine if people in need are benefiting.

The creamy layer concept should also be applied to SC / ST.Weak groups need to first receive special financial assistance and then secure their place in order to survive in society. It should be kept in mind that reservations can only be made if the government has administrative efficiency.

Section 335 sets out the right of SC / ST to appoint services and offices related to Union and states operations. There are some reservation policy issues in India that need immediate attention. The author pointed out such problems and tentative solutions. In order to make a reservation properly, the government needs to consider it and take appropriate measures.

References:
  • Ahamed, R. D. &. M. K., 2019. Constitutional Law and Reservation: A Critical Study. International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews , 6(1), p. 4
  • Anon., 1949. Constituent Assembly Debates. Volume 11.
  • Chauhan, C. P. S., 2008. Education and caste in India, 28(3),. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 28(3), pp. 217-234..
  • Dewan, A., 2009. Gale Acadmic Onefile. [Online]
  • Available at: https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A210171556/AONE?u=anon~9def3e71&sid=googleScholar&xid=23dc63fd [Accessed 2021
  • Laskar, M. H., 2010. Rethinking Reservation in Higher Education in India. Indial Law Institute Review, 1(1), p. 25.
  • Rao, P., 2000. Right to equality and the reservation policy. Journal of the I.L.I, Volume 4.
  • Sheth, D. L., 1987. (Reservations policy revisited. Economic and Political Weekly.
End-Notes:
  1. An analysis of Article 16(2) and Article 16(4)
  2. Constituent Assembly Debate, Vol. 11, pp. 979 and 980.
  3. State of Madras V. Champakam Dorairajan AIR, 1951, SC 226
  4. Balaji v. state of Mysore AIR, 1963 SC p. 649
  5. Indira Sawhney v. UOI AIR, 1993 SC 477.
  6. Tma Pai Foundation & Ors V State of Karnataka & Ors AIR 2003 SC 355
  7. Islamic Academy of Edn. & Anr. Vs. State of Karnataka & Ors. AIR 2003 SC 3724
  8. P.A. Inamdar and Others Versus State of Maharashtra and Others. 4 AIR 2005 SC 3226
  9. Article 15 (5), it provides that nothing in this Article or in Article 19 (1) (g) shall prevent the State from making any special provision, by law, for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled castes or the Scheduled tribes in so for as such special provisions relate to admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State, other than the minority educational institutions referred to in Article 30 of the constitution of India.
  10. Article 15[(4) - Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

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