Reservation system

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What Is Reservation ? It is a form of affirmative action designed to improve the well-being of backward and under-represented communities defined primarily by their 'caste'.A certain percentage of total available vacancies in educational institutes and government jobs are set aside for people from backward communities and others.Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) are the primary beneficiaries of the reservation policies under the Constitution.

Our constitution gives us the right to freedom and most importantly to exercise this freedom in an equitable manner.

The biggest question that lies in front of us is whether implementing this reservation system has really helped the downtrodden? The current scenario clearly depicts that the lower castes are still discriminated in their daily lives.

Beneficiary GroupsEnrolment in educational institutions and job placements are reserved based on a variety of criteria. Thequota systemsets aside a proportion of all possible positions for members of a specific group.

Seats are reserved for people under the following criteria:- 1.Caste 2.Gender 3.Religion 4.Status Of Domicile 5.Other (Terrorist victims from Kashmir, e.g. in Punjab.)

Single Girl-Child (inPunjab)Sons/daughters/grandsons/granddaughters ofFreedom FightersPhysically handicappedSports personalitiesNon-Resident Indians(NRIs) have a small percentage of reserved seats in educational institutions. (Note: NRI reservations were removed from IIT in 2003)Candidatessponsored by various organizationsDependents ofarmed forcespersonnelkilled-in-actionRepatriatesReservation inspecial schoolsof Government Undertakings/ PSUs, for the children of their own employees (e.g. Army schools, PSU schools, etc.)Paid pathway reservations in places of worship (e.g.,Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Tiruthani Morgan (Balaji) temple)Seat reservation forSenior citizensand Physically handicapped in public (bus) transport.

Reservations in colleges/universitiesThere is a University Grants Commission (UGC) set up that provides financial assistance to universities for the establishment of Special Cells for SC/STs.

Their purpose is to help universities implement the reservation policy in the student admissions and staff recruitment processes at teaching and non teaching levels.

They also help the SC/ST categories integrate with the university community and remove the difficulties which they may have experienced. SC/ST cells like these have been set up in 109 universities.

The UGC provides financial assistance to universities and affiliated colleges for implementation of the Special Cells. It provides the universities with assistance worth "Rs.1, 00,000/- per annum for:

Travelling Allowances & Dearness Allowances for field workData CollectionAnalysis and evaluation of statistical dataNew Computer and Printer (once in a plan period)"Issues Regarding Reservation

What is surprising is that our constitution clearly is a reservation-friendly constitution but nowhere in the constitution is the term backward classes defined.

What actually constitutes a backward class?

What are the determinants of a backward class? These questions remain unanswered and it is only with the help of judicial pronouncements that they have been given some meaning. Question arises how can reservations be made for something that has not been defined?Today when a student applies for an admission in any university, the admission forms are filled with questions like Are you SC/ST or OBC or General Category? How does it matter which category does he belong to, what matters is his merit. A category cannot decide whether he is eligible for admission or not. There many economically worse off children belonging to the forward classes but they cannot get the fruits of such reservation merely by virtue of belonging to the general category.Against ReservationInstead of introducing reservations for these backward classes what is required is to bring about revolutionary changes in our education system at the grass-root level. When proper education is not provided to children belonging to such categories during the primary stage itself then on what basis are the reservations provided at a subsequent stage.

Reservations are nothing but means to prosper the vote banks of politicians. They are hindering the countrys growth, development and competency in all aspects.We dont need reservations based on castes or religion but only to actually provide aid to those who have minimal resources; and merit should be given equal and due importance in admission procedures as well employment opportunities. This way we would be successful in removing caste discrimination and unite the economically rich together in helping the economically poor, irrespective of their castes.

By: Komal Soni Kanchan BhatiJuned BabaMd.Irfan