Reservations in India such as reserving access to seats in the various legislatures, to government jobs, and to enrollment in higher educational institutions. The reservation nourishes the historically disadvantaged castes and tribes, listed as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes by the Government of India, also those designated as Other Backwards Classes (OBCs) and also the economically backward general.
The Constitution prohibits untouchability and obligates the state to make special provision for the betterment of the SCs and STs. Over the years, the categories for affirmative action, also known as positive discrimination, have been expanded beyond those to the OBCs.
After the independence of India in 1947 there were some major initiatives in favour of the STs, SCs and after the 1980s in favour of OBCs. In 2019 for poor general category . The country’s affirmative action programme was launched in 1950 and is the oldest such programme in the world. A common form of caste discrimination in India was the practice of untouchability. SCs were the primary targets of the practice, which was outlawed by the new Constitution of India.
In 1954, the Ministry of Education suggested that 20% of places should be reserved for the SCs and STs in educational institutions with a provision to relax minimum qualifying marks for admission by 5 percent wherever required. In 1982, it was specified that 15% and 7.5% of vacancies in public sector and government-aided educational institutes should be reserved for the SC and ST candidates, respectively.
The Supreme Court of India ruled in 1992 that reservations could not exceed 50%, anything above which it judged would violate equal access as guaranteed by the Constitution. It thus put a cap on reservations. However, the recent amendment of the constitution exceeds 50% and also there are state laws that exceed this 50% limit and these are under litigation in the Supreme Court. For example, in the State of Tamil Nadu, the caste-based reservation stands at 69% and applies to about 87% of the population.reservation is not just for SC,ST and OBC reservation is also for women’s and transgender so they can get equal opportunity
The Women’s Reservation Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 9 March 2010 by a majority vote of 186 members in favour . As of March 2013, the Lok Sabha has not voted on the bill. Critics say gender cannot be held as a basis for reservation alone other factors should also be considered e.g. economic, social conditions of woman candidate especially when applying reservation for educated women. In Gujarat, 33% of posts are reserved for females in all government departments and services, such as police, health, education and general administration.
The Government of Andhra Pradesh introduced a law enabling 4% reservations for Muslims in 2004. This law was upheld by the Supreme Court in an interim order in 2010 but it constituted a Constitution bench to look further into the issue. The referral was to examine the constitutional validity of quotas based on religion. Kerala Public Service Commission has a quota of 6% for Muslims. Religious minority, Muslim or Christian educational institutes also have 50% reservation for Muslim or Christian religions. The Central government has listed a number of Muslim communities as backward Muslims, making them eligible for reservation.