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7th February 2024 (12 Topics)

Affluent sub-castes among OBCs may be excluded from quota list: SC

Context

A seven-judge Constitution Bench questioned why affluent sub-castes among backward classes should not be “excluded” from the reservation list and made to compete with the general category.

Supreme Court’s Views (Why should there be no exclusion from the reservation list?)

Category

Reservation in (%)

Scheduled Caste

15%

Scheduled Tribe

7.5%

Other Backward Class (OBC)

27%

Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)

10%

Persons with Benchmark Disabilities

4%

  • Some of the sub-castes among backward castes have done better and gone forward. They should come out of reservation and compete with the general category.
  • These advanced sub-castes could exit the domain of reservationto make room for sub-castes who were relatively more marginalised or most backward.
  • The remaining sub-castes who are still backward, let them have reservation

The issue of cessation of social backwardness needs to be analysed with respect to the Supreme Court’s recent opinion. 

Twin effect of Reservation (Pros and Cons of Reservation)

Pros

Cons

  • It ensures diversity in advanced education, equality in the workplace and offers protection from hatred.
  • It helps in the emancipation of disadvantaged individuals and thereby promotes equality for all.
  • It breaks stereotypes regarding caste, religion, and ethnicity.
  • It increases social mobility.
  • It is needed to compensate for centuries of oppression and discrimination and provides level-playing fields.
  • It seeks to bring equity in society by addressing 'graded inequalities'.
  • There are concerns that lead to erosion of meritocracy.
  • It can still reinforce stereotypes as it demeans the achievements of marginalized sections.
  • People coming under the ambit of reservation, their success is labelled as a result of Reservation, instead of their capabilities and hard work.
  • There are concerns that reservation can serve as a medium for reverse discrimination.
  • Reverse discrimination is discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group, in favour of members of a minority or historically disadvantaged group.
  • Due to vote bank politics, even after discrimination issues have been diminishing, it is difficult to withdraw the reservation.
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