RESERVATION POLICY AS AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION


Our Constitution ensures equity and fairness of chance to everyone and so it turns into an obligation of the state to make a move to accomplish this goal. Constitution also recognizes that equal opportunity means competition between equals and not unequal’s. The constitution creators perceived the disparity in our social framework and contended that the weaker area (the individuals who are unequal's) have to be dealt with on a preferential footing by the state.

The reservation system in India are the governmental policies regarding minorities in society or “positive segregation”, it alludes to an approach or program or giving certain priorities to specific groups (underprivileged groups) over the others. It is an affirmative action because it reduces the gap between upper caste and lower castes. The Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) are the principal recipients of the reservation arrangements under the Constitution, the goal of which is to guarantee a level playing field. At first, the level of reservation was 12.5% for the SCs and 5% for the STs.These rates were in this way later improved to 15%  for SCs, 7.5% for STs and 27% for OBCs separately. In the present situation, the government can give them reservations up to 50% of the total seats. The Supreme Court had already ruled that the total proportion of reservations under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution should be below 50 percent.

Its birthplace has its underlying foundations scattered from the early times when the caste system, the act of untouchability and Varnas or classes was predominant in the general public. In old occasions, the Hindu society was isolated based on classes. There were class pf individuals or rather no class individuals known as untouchables or avarna who were thought to be tainted for the general public and were prohibited from the social framework. They needed to live outside the town and had no social rights. There were strict limitations on them. The Dalits frequently occupied themselves with jobs, for example, cleaning open and private areas, handling dead dairy cattle carcasses and so on. This obviously expresses they were a critical piece of the general public as they attempted to keep it healthy and clean for everybody. Maybe the employments they did were one of the prime reasons for the brutal treatment they got. They were denied essential rights, for example, utilizing public places, entering temples, utilizing schools, wells, and so on. They are not permitted to utilize services, for example, transports, wells, to wed anybody from the upper castes. They need to use separate utensils for eating and are not permitted to sit close to the upper caste people. If Dalits decline to carry out their occupations and act as per the upper classes they need to confront certain afflictions by these classes. Many employers in some cases decline to give employments to the general population of lower castes.

In a survey at IIT-BHU, students pursuing chemical engineering at IIT-BHU were asked to take part in a survey online, where 121 students finished the survey. Students from the SC/ST castes report confronting negative attitudes from other students. A larger part of students from these classes trusts that students from the general category have a higher scholarly capacity as others and those from reserved categories have lower capacity than others. Most students from the general class have comparative convictions about the lower capacities of students from the lower class and prevalent capacities of students from general class. We place that such convictions and recognitions make an obstacle to the academic performance of lower-class groups. In this way, students from lower classes are probably going to confront embarrassment and dominating attitude from others in their daily lives. So the Reservation system was introduced which is a form of affirmative action to uplift the status of socially and educationally backward communities in India.

There is no doubt that the reservation has helped the people of reserved class to improve their social and economical status. The proportion of SC, ST, and OBC has increased in government institutes and hence providing them a chance to raise themselves. Number of SC, ST students have been enrolled in Undergraduate, Postgraduate and other higher studies. It shows they are now understanding that education is the only way of salvation from their miserable situation. Seats are reserved in LokSabha for SC&ST so that they get a chance of decision making and present their views and ideas on different aspects of society. Because they had been deprived of these rights for centuries.

Poor people cannot afford to send their children to school because the opportunity cost of sending the children to school is very high as they make valuable contributions to the household economy. These children since their birth have seen financial problems in their families and they also want to provide a good standard of living to their family. They can’t even afford coachings or give fees to big institutions. So, the reservation policy has given hope to such a category to pursue a good education by getting seats reserved for them at the various jobs and college entrances thereby they can improve the economic status of their families. It has been effective also as there are many citizens who are Dalits or Obc’s and are excelling in various fields like KalpanaSaroj, IIaiyaraja.

The crimes against Dalits have not yet stopped but the reservation system has contributed to a large extent in reducing caste inequality and changing the mentality of the society. Reservation is considered Positive discrimination. As in the olden days, lower castes were badly harassed and discriminated against. To uplift the lower castes and give them equal opportunities reservations are a must. When there are two parties that are not equal then it is not fair to treat them equally. The existing situation of inequality has to be removed first. How to do it? The most disadvantaged among the two has to be provided with a positively discriminated treatment so that they can make use of the opportunity to become equals. Hence, Reservations in case of Sc/St are inevitable for a rapidly developing nation like ours. Reservations reflect the principle of "EQUALITY" enshrined in the Constitution. People do rise from the worst circumstances in life to reach a respectable position due to reservations. Not all people who take reservations lack merit/talent but they didn't have resources to work hard. When they were studying in candlelight nobody came with a bulb. Reservation compensates them for inequality in their resources to achieve their aim. It gives voice to the oppressed classes and shows them a path to progress. Thus, it helps in removing the inequality among different castes by bringing them at the same level as other upper castes.

Reservation policy was initiated for the upliftment of lower caste people and so it is positive discrimination. It has been effective to a great extent but with the passage of time, this policy has been exploited by the politicians, creamy layer among lower caste people. So this policy to be an affirmative action needs to be reviewed. Reservation on an economic basis is a much more pragmatic outlook in a nation like India as it was introduced with the motive of uplifting the weaker sections of the society. In light of the fact that if there should be an occurrence of economic-based reservation framework, all individuals who are poor will get reservation regardless of their castes as neediness does not choose individuals based on their caste and henceforth if country's needs to bring correspondence between citizens then it ought to select economic-based reservation as opposed to caste-based reservation. In a case Balaji v. State of Mysore it was held that ‘caste of a person cannot be the sole criteria for ascertaining whether a particular caste is backward or not. Determinants such as poverty, occupation, place of habitation may all be relevant factors to be taken into consideration. Individuals don't wish to work and take advantage of their caste hard because they know that they will get a job anyway. This is degrading the quality of the workforce and hampering the growth of India. By giving reservations, the members of the constituent assembly wanted to bring changes in the way lower caste people are treated in the society so that they can avail equal opportunities like upper caste people. So it was adopted as affirmative action. But now, the scenario has changed and an amendment is needed in this policy for the betterment of the society as a whole.

The reservation system as the origination of Affirmative action was established to create equality and provide a standard of living to the downtrodden section of the society. Therefore, reservation policy may have its own drawbacks but at the same time, it is a tool for the growth of the underprivileged sections of the society.

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