ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fair Representation of SCs/STs

As we have progressed, various caste groups have agitated for their share in reserved quotas either as Other Backward Classes or Extremely Backward Classes. We have seen violent conflicts and social unrest over this issue. However, recent developments and statements by certain actors, and the observations of the Supreme Court as reported in the Indian Express on 28 October 2015 (“In National Interest, Scrap Quota in Higher Education Institutions: Supreme Court”) pose serious threat to “reservation” in itself. It should be noted that initially Babasaheb Ambedkar sought reservation for the Dalits and backward castes: the debate around the Poona Pact is a good evidence of this. However, representation was substituted by reservation to address the historical injustices. This was intended for a 10-year period but subsequently it has been extended. Now reservation is condemned on grounds of efficiency and merit.

Every now and then the issue of efficiency and merit comes up as an argument to scrap the reservation system. However, numerous studies, reports and data have shown that till date there has been a marginal increase in the status of a tiny percentage of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) population. They continue to face humiliation, exclusion, torture, oppression and violence and find almost zero representation in many aspects of governance and public life.

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