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The EWS judgment and the shadow of Pandora

  • Published
    10th Nov, 2022

Context:

The idea behind the Supreme Court judgment of 2015 (inclusion of Jats in the Central list of OBCs, got ignored in the current debate of reservation to Economically Weaker Sections.

Open the gates for the most distressed

  • Rationale Provided in 2015 judgment: The state should not go by the “perception of the self-proclaimed socially backward class”; new formulae, must be found to determine backwardness.
  • Emerging forms of backwardness: New practices, methods, and yardsticks have to be continuously evolved moving away from the caste-centric definition of backwardness.

Call for new methods and yardsticks:

  • Need for New Methods: Caste may be a factor for ‘determination of backwardness’, but “the identification of a group as backward solely based on caste must be discouraged.
  • No change in the basis for Reservation: The addition of the OBC category did not change the basis on which they benefited. Despite the “C” in “OBC” referring to “classes”, the OBC lists contained castes and sub-castes.
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