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Should the 50 % legal ceiling on reservation be reconsidered?

  • Published
    14th Oct, 2023


Debate on reservation cap: Bihar's caste survey shows 84% OBCs, SCs, STs. Calls for rethinking limits on caste-based reservation.

Debating the 50% Reservation Cap

  • Historical Perspective: The 50% reservation cap is viewed as arbitrary, with some states already surpassing it.
  • Legal Evolution: Originating from M.R. Balaji case, it gained prominence in Mandal (Indra Sawhney) case as almost a fundamental right.
  • Need for Reconsideration: Challenging the cap requires a state like Bihar to lead and possibly call for reconsideration.

Challenges in Defining OBCs

  • OBCs as an Administrative Category: OBC encompasses diverse castes, necessitating sub-categorization to ensure equitable representation.
  • Conceptual Ambiguity: Unlike SCs and STs, defining OBCs is complex, requiring rethinking of social and educational backwardness.
  • Political and Social Implications: Sub-categorization may have political repercussions and prompt debates on the inclusion of certain castes.

Caste Census and Its Implications

  • Addressing Group-based Deprivation: Rahul Gandhi's call for caste-based survey aims at collective representation for similarly positioned groups.
  • Critique and Reality: While counting castes may have potential drawbacks, it acknowledges existing realities and informs policy measures.
  • Mandal 2.0 and Caste Mobilization: The current situation may impact BJP's stance, necessitating broader anti-caste mobilization for meaningful representation.
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