Caste Reservations: Half Pregnant Constitution, Half Pregnant State


This paper examines the logic, legality and practice of education and job reservations for the backward castes and classes. There is a lot of confusion, some of it deliberate on the part of the interest groups, about what the Constitution does, or does not say, about reservations. There is also considerable confusion about the difference between a policy of ‘reservations’ and a policy of ‘affirmative action’.

Section 1 discusses the constitutional aspects of reservations, and Section 2 discusses the policy of providing reservation benefits to OBCs (Other Backward Classes). Section 3 delves into the distinction between reservations and affirmative action.  Section 4 discusses the simple fact that the one socio-economic group not benefiting from the ill-thought policy of reservations is the section of society that could most benefit from them – the Muslims.

The summary of this paper was presented in New Delhi on November 20, 2015. The slides can be downloaded here and the full paper is available below.

author bio

  • Surjit S. Bhalla | He is contributing editor, The Indian Express and consultant, Network 18. FULL BIO

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