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December 19, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm


The reservation system in India has long been a topic of debate, with varied opinions on its necessity and impact. While some argue for its elimination, others view it as a crucial tool for addressing historical injustices and social disparities.

Evolution of Reservation System:

Origin and Historical Background:

Conceptualized by William Hunter and Jyotirao Phule in 1882.

Formalized in 1933 with the ‘Communal Award’ during British rule.

Post-independence, extended to OBCs in 1991 and economically weaker sections in 2019.

Constitutional Provisions and Amendments:

Governed by Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution.

Amendments introduced to address issues like creamy layer exclusion and reservation in promotions.

Special provisions for SCs and STs in Parliament, State legislatures, Panchayats, and Municipalities.

Need for Reservation in India:

Historical Discrimination: Addresses historical caste-based discrimination, providing opportunities for marginalized communities.

Human Development Disparities: Bridges gaps in education, employment, and resource access among different caste groups.

Promoting Social Justice: Aligns with constitutional mandates to promote social justice and equality. Ensures representation in educational institutions, breaking the cycle of poverty.

Prevalence of Backwardness: Mandal Commission recommendations addressed the backwardness of OBCs. Reservation policies seek to uplift communities with socio-economic disadvantages.

Government Reports and Policies: Sachar Committee Report highlights socio-economic backwardness of minority communities. National Sample Survey reveals conditions of lower castes, justifying affirmative action.

Equitable Representation: Ensures diverse representation in public employment, fostering inclusivity. Supported by data reflecting under-representation of certain groups in government jobs.

Issues with Reservation System:

Quality of Education and Employment: Concerns that merit-based selection may be compromised, affecting education and workforce quality.

Brain Drain: Potential loss of talent as individuals seek opportunities abroad to escape reservation.

Resentment and Division: May create social and economic divisions, leading to resentment and hindering cohesion.

Inefficiencies and Corruption: Instances of corruption and inefficiencies, compromising the effectiveness of the system.

Stigma and Stereotyping: Reservation can lead to stigmatization and stereotyping, impacting self-esteem.

Economic vs. Social Development: Focuses on social development; may not directly address economic disparities.

Political Exploitation: Sometimes used for short-term political gains, diverting from long-term development goals.

Solutions to Reservation System:

Reboot Infrastructure of Opportunity: Reforms in education, employability, and employment infrastructure. Focus on performance management, governance, and soft skills in education.

Equal Treatment: Ensure fair treatment without discrimination based on background or status.

Unbiased Competition: Encourage competition on a level playing field, promoting excellence based on skills.

Impartially Judged Outcomes: Evaluate outcomes based on fair and impartial criteria, emphasizing merit.

Judging Based on Effort and Courage: Emphasize the importance of hard work, determination, and individual effort.

Resource Judiciously: Utilize resources judiciously in a welfare state, balancing subsidies and economic development.


While reservations have played a crucial role in addressing historical injustices, it is imperative to reassess their effectiveness in the contemporary context. Balancing social justice with economic development and fostering equal opportunities for all is essential. A holistic approach, coupled with reforms in education and employment, can pave the way for a more equitable and progressive society. As India continues its journey towards comprehensive development, the reservation system must evolve to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Mains Question:

  1. Examine the rationale behind the implementation of reservations in India. Evaluate the challenges associated with current reservation policies and propose measures for reform.(150 WORDS)


December 19, 2023
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: