Challenges of Reservation: Problems and Solutions

Challenges of Reservation: Problems and Solutions

Question: Hardik Patel has campaigned for the rights of Patels to reservation. Reservation has been widely debated in many circles of Indian society. Highlight the challenges of reservation in securing social justice for weaker sections of society given the mass mobilisation of the Patels in Gujarat for inclusion in caste based reservation scheme.

- The challenges of reservation have to be met by creating opportunities for disadvantaged children

- While improving school education outcomes a rational model of reservation that is equitable would be beneficial.

- Massive mobilisation of Patels in Gujarat for inclusion in caste based reservation as OBC raises questions about the affirmative action programmes in India

- Link between caste and poverty and denial of opportunity based entirely on circumstances of the birth is a real problem

The Problems

- Many benefits of reservation have been taken by lesser, better educated elites who are well off known as the creamy layer

- Though reservation is applicable to the poor and rich or literate and illiterate, benefits of reservation accrue for those who are already possessing advantages such as wealth and education

- Poor disadvantaged SC and ST as well as and OBCs remain on the fringes and mired in poverty and backwardness

- Communities excluded from reservation feel animosity for those who have access to it

- Caste polarisation is further deepened by political mobilisation

- Recent instances of caste mobilisation for and against reservation abound such as the Jat-Gujjar-Meena agitation in Rajasthan and the group led by Hardik Patel

- Current forms of reservation and zero sum approach have led to the deepening of caste divisions

The Solutions

- Benefits should flow to underprivileged children

- Public officials of higher rank and high income professionals as well as their children should be barred from reservation

- Anger and aspirations of poor families also needs to be addressed

- With the SC ruling of 50 percent on reservation quota, further reservation is not possible.

- But there can be creative ways to make sure the benefits are evenly distributed to disadvantaged sections of society

- Poverty and birth in low SES family should not be an obstacle in the way of education

- Underprivileged children should be given more marks weightage during admissions

- State should also boost market mechanisms for equal opportunity in the private sector

Facts and Stats

- Articles 16, 335, 338, 340, 341 & 342 of the Constitution relate to reservation, protection and safeguards, in public employment in respect of the persons belonging to the SCs/STs and OBC.

- Current reservation system is considered anti-poor by many experts.
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