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30 years since Mandal Commission recommendations’

  • Category
    Polity
  • Published
    17th Aug, 2020

On this day, 30 years ago – 7 August 1990 – the VP Singh government accepted the Mandal Commission's recommendations and announced that it would implement the reservation scheme – under which 27 percent jobs would be given to members of Other Backward Classes.

Context

On this day, 30 years ago – 7 August 1990 – the VP Singh government accepted the Mandal Commission's recommendations and announced that it would implement the reservation scheme – under which 27 percent jobs would be given to members of Other Backward Classes.

Let’s analyse and look back through the decades to see how the recommendations of the Mandal Commission or the second backward class communication were received and the current status of reservation of OBCs in the country.

Background

  • Thirty years ago, on 7 August 1990, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, the prime minister at the time, announced that Other Backward Classes (OBCs) would get 27 per cent reservation in jobs in central government services and public sector units.
  • The announcement was made before both Houses of Parliament.
  • The decision was based on a report submitted on 31 December 1980 that recommended reservations for OBCsnot just in government jobs but also central education institutions.
  • The recommendation was made by the Mandal Commission, which was set up in 1979 under the Morarji Desai government and chaired by P. Mandal.

    Quick history of ‘Reservation’ in India

    • The history of reservation for the backward castes goes back to 1902 when Shahu Maharaj, the ruler of the princely state of Kolhapur, reserved 50% jobs for backward castes (all communities except forward groups such as Brahmins, Prabhus, Shenvis and Parsis).
    • When India’s Constitution came into force in 1950, the question of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was already settled.
    • But what is meant by backward classes and who should be included in this category were questions that remained mired in controversy for decades.
    • The Jawaharlal Nehru government set up a backward classes commission in 1953, which drew up a list of 2,399 communities listing them as backward.
    • But the government did not act on this report.
    • Today, reservation is provided in central government posts and services to-
      • Scheduled Castes- 15%
      • Scheduled Tribes- 7.5%
      • Other Backward Classes- 27%
      • Economically Weaker Sections- 10%
        • The Government recently introduced EWS Reservation. 10% quota is provided for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS)among General Category candidates in government jobs and educational institutions.
        • This is done by adding clauses for the same in the Indian Constitution (103rd Constitution Amendment Act, 2019).
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