The Reservation system of India has always been a controversial system both for the general caste people and the other public. The main object of the Reservation system is to uplift the social position of the backward class (SC, ST and the OBC) through education and other various means. Our Constitution guarantees reservation of seats for the backward classes for education and other various government jobs so that these people can uplift their current social position and be at par with the rest of the society.
As per Article 15(4),(5),(6) of the Indian Constitution , there will be a certain percentage of reservation of seats for the backward classes of the society that includes SC’s , ST’s and the OBC people and as per Article 16(4) and (6) , the Constitution guarantees reservation for various government jobs and services. Currently the reservation percentage for Schedule Castes is 15%, 7.5% for Schedule Tribes ,27% for Other Backward Classes and 10% for economically weaker sections making the sum up to 59.5% of total seats in both educational sector as well as job sector .
Is this kind of reservation still required in the present day?
Though the object of reservation system was to uplift the socio-economic status of the backward classes , but in this 21st century is the age old reservation system still helping the backward classes?
The answer is NO.
During the 1940’s and 1950’s this system really proved to be efficient and as a result it really helped in the upliftment of the backward classes as there were substantial amount of people who were economically very weak to provide any kind of education to their children or to themselves.
Today this system is getting misused in such a manner which no one could have imagined ever. There are many Schedule Caste people who are both socially and economically strong to provide education for their children and they do not need the help of reservation as such. Due to these misuses from the people ,others who still struggle to get education, gets ignored.
The backward people from very rural areas are still uneducated and they do not even intend to study for a living. The reservation system is constantly failing to reach them because of its age old policy. The reservation system, according to me , needs to undergo a change so that people who really need this policy can get it without any hardships.
According to me, there should be an income cap on the reservation system just like it is in the case of scholarships for students and if any backward class people exceed that certain income cap level then they would be treated as ‘economically strong’ people and won’t get the benefit of reservation.
Only by this policy the real economically backward people can get a chance to educate themselves and make India a 100% literate country.
For example, a certain scheduled caste person’s family income is Rs 10 lakhs per annum, does he really need a reserved seat for him to get education? No, but still they are going to get the benefit of reservation and by this , one actual needy person who can neither afford a seat in any educational institution nor can he study whole heartedly because of his family conditions, gets ignored without getting even a minimal importance. So are we still helping the Backward sections of the society?
There are many people who just take the advantage of this system and take exams like IIT, CLAT as granted because they know at the end of the day even if their rank is beyond 1000’s or 2000’s they are going to get a seat in any one of those colleges.
This is never a case for the General candidates though, no matter how much economically weaker they are , no matter how much socially disturbed they are ,no benefits are given to them ,and on the top of that if they see a system meant for the benefit of backward people gets misused like this ,how would they feel?
And more than the general candidates, those people who wish to become a great scientist or a lawyer one day, how do they feel when they learn that the system does not care anymore about the real backward people?
There are a lots of questions when we study deep into this reservation system
So, according to my thought, there should be a basic income cap for getting the benefit of reservation , the income cap for Schedule Caste candidates should not exceed 2.5 lakhs per annum and for Schedule Tribe candidates the income cap should not exceed 3.5 lakhs per annum. In this way, the real people will get a chance once again to educate themselves and for those who took the benefit without giving a decent effort needs to work hard for a seat . By this , the competition gets healthy and the right will be done to the actual backward classes in the society
Moreover, for the benefit of reservation, income certificates must be submitted to the concerned authority for checking the validity of those of documents. The percentage of reservation also needs to go down a little bit so that the system remains healthy. The reservation for the Schedule Castes should go down to 12% from 15% and for schedule Tribes it should go down to 5% from 7.5% , in this way a healthy reservation system can be maintained .
The general candidates don’t have to feel sidelined with these rules and the backward classes both (with or without) this reservation benefit, needs to study for a seat as the reservation is less and the competition is high , people need to study and by this a just system of reservation is made.
In the modern days, there are several cases of forged SC/ ST certificates for getting a seat or a job and to stop these the system of reservation needs to undergo a change. Situations do change as years pass by and thus, we cannot expect an age old policy to still serve as a benefit to the weaker sections.
A recent survey has shown that in urban areas, 81.51% of males and 77.27% of females are literate belonging to the schedule caste whereas 18.49% of males and 22.37% of females are illiterate. In the rural areas, 60.36% of males and 51.55% of females belonging to the schedule castes are literate while 39.64% males and 51.55% females still remain illiterate.
Our main concern should be the illiteracy percentage in both the urban and rural sectors. We all can see how much is the illiteracy percentage difference is there between the urban and rural sectors and above all, these are just numbers , there are many people in the very remote places who doesn’t even know what education is and thus they easily become a victim of various unscientific measures and superstitions that ruin their life.
Therefore, as a responsible citizen I would like to see my country get fully educated and for this to happen justice must happen to those who really deserve it. A small change in Article 15 can have a huge impact in the country’s future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Soubhratra Bhattacharjee is a third year law student at Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri Law College.
In Content Picture: Picpedia.org
Kindly note that the views and opinions expressed are of the author and not of the Indian Journal of Law and Public Policy.