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Decoding Reservation in India: Is it a Constitutional Flaw or Unnecessary Favor?

The idea of 'reservation' has generated contradictory views from teachers and students all around the world

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November 12, 2016: The word ‘reservation’ came up with the idea of representative government, where for the first time numbers mattered. The inequality of Indian society has solidified the need for numeric representation. The caste based representation, no doubt created a more confident lower class mass with their greater involvement in the public sphere. Reservation in education has evolved as a major challenge for lakhs of students. Far from providing an equal opportunity it has an electoral agenda. Education has been politicized based on reservation.

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However, the backward class proportion is still underrepresented. Article 15 (1) of the Constitution says, “State shall not discriminate any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them”, it also provides for compensatory or protective discrimination in favor of certain sections of the disadvantaged people. Article 15(4) of the constitution stipulates that notwithstanding the provision stated above, the state can make “special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes”. Thus constitution itself provides contradictory clause.

The idea of ‘reservation’ has generated contradictory views from teachers and students all around the world. ‘Caste should no longer be the eligibility criteria for reservation, rather income should be’ said HemangoAkshayHiwale, an M.phill aspirant in Jamia Millia Islamia University. Prakash, another student of same university claims reservation as a ‘good thing but in present scenario in India need to be reformed.’

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In August 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that for admissions at super-specialty level in medicine and engineering faculties, no special provisions like SCs, STs, BCs were permissible. Even among the quotas there are also sub-quotas. For example, in Andhra Pradesh, 15% of the seats in each course of study reserved for Scheduled Castes are in turn allotted, in proportion to their population, to four categories of SCs classified as A, B , C and D.

This affirmative step has so far brought with it social justice. US Carnegie Mellon University, published a study in American Economic Review, which shows that reservations do place those who do not qualify for affirmative action at a disadvantage, 53,374 scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, other backward classes and general category students are at a loss.

Reservation in the past decades has increased the numbers of scheduled castes and scheduled tribe families with highly educated members, who can encourage and provide support for younger family members to continue their education. Thus, reservation in education as of now is more of a luxury scheme for these classes as the benefit is only confined to a limited population, whether they need it or not. The real needy ones are at a loss to whom the information or the financial access is debarred.

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Instead of favoring reservation, the government should increase the number of universities and government jobs for the benefit of its people. Nationalization of education can also be a solution to this issue. When the discrepancies within the universities are omitted; i.e. equal access to education without compromising the quality of education the disadvantaged students in remote areas will get justice. The proliferation of universities in villages with good teachers can also be an alternative.

Reservation should not be treated as a vote bank or an emotional quotient but a practical measure to help the lower section of the society. It should be kept in mind that the extended favor to the marginalized section might create an insufficiency for the other classes. With the critical Indian class structure, it should be kept in mind that any reform of upliftment will be judiciously measured before its implementation.

by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon

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7 new-age social issues in India that needs a check

Since decades, we people are countering issues like poverty, illiteracy, child marriage, caste system, gender inequality and endless to count further.

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India has become a hub of ever growing social issues
India has become a hub of ever growing social issues

NEW DELHI: Indian being a land of diverse culture and heritage does have a very complex society. People from all around the globe visited India and shared their traditional values. Thus, India did inherit a lot of ethnic varieties in the span of its thousands of years.

These all things make India a strong hold for people of diverse belief, languages, and colour. And at the same time also makes India a happening and vibrant place to live. But at the same time, it also makes us vulnerable to many kinds of social issues and problems. Due to the blind and adamant beliefs of people on their religion and caste, contradictory ideas are meant to creep into the society.

Since decades, we people are countering issues like poverty, illiteracy, child marriage, caste system, gender inequality and endless to count further. But with the changing scenario and thought process of our society, many more new problems have made their way into our lives. Such things are the real evil for our advancement and growth.
Let’s take a view on some of such issues, that we need to take up seriously before it becomes too late to act upon.

Triple Talaq
The whole Muslim community has been following the very notion of Triple Talaq since long and the Muslim women were the one to face the heat of such a ritual.

The three different types of Talaq in the Muslim society are Talaq –e-Ahsan , Talaq-e- Hasan and Talaq –e- Biddat. From all of these three talaqs, the Talaq –e- Biddat was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme court on 22nd August 2017. In Talaq –e- Biddat, if the husband says Talaq three types in one go, then the Talaq becomes irrevocable.

After this verdict, for the very first time, Muslim women came in full force to stand against this discrimination against them. Even Triple Talaq has banned n 22 Muslim countries all over the world.

Indian sex ratio is drastically declined due to girl infanticide. Wikimedia Commons
Indian sex ratio is drastically declined due to girl infanticide. Wikimedia Commons

Girl Infanticide
The urge of having a boy in India has taken a very spine-chilling consequence on the female population of our country. Haryana tops the chart of such a shameful practice, which is being exercised over the decades in our so-called democratic nation. Due to it, other social issues like sex determination have made their way into our society.

To counter such an adversary, the government launched a scheme called, ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ and made stringent laws to tackle crimes like these. The result of girl infanticide can be well gauged by taking a note of the figures of sex ratio of India.

 

Infant mortality rate
India’s run just behind China in terms of the population also makes us more open to the risks of childbirth. Most of such death takes place due to negligence or insufficient mean to cater the needs of a newborn. Also, the lack of proper vaccination goes equally into the list of things directly responsible for high infant mortality rate in India.

To quote the very recent example of Max Hospital in Delhi, where a newborn child was declared dead without proper checks by the hospital authorities. But later the child was found to be alive, only to last another week due to infection and lack of timely attention.

Such cases bring our attention to the laid-back approach of few people of our society and thus calls for strict action against social issues like this.

Juvenile Crimes
Another gruesome social issue to be nipped in its bud is Juvenile Crime. In the last half decade, this issue has wreaked havoc in the Indian society. The crimes committed by minors have increased many folds due to many reasons like illiteracy, poverty and their peer’s ignorant attitude. Another crucial reason that can be taken into account is the migration of people from urban areas to rural places. Due to this, it has become really hard for even state administration to keep a check on each and every one.

The biggest example of Juvenile crimes in recent times can be related to Nirbhaya incident, where among all the culprits, one was a Juvenile. It was after this incident only; laws were amended to punish such convicts.

Violence against women
India is a male dominant society has always shunned women of their rights and privileges. Women were barred from all the opportunities and were confined to the four walls of the house. Even today, the birth of a girl is not celebrated in many places of India. They have become a regular subject of physical and mental torture.

Their personal freedom is into shamble till date. They are thoroughly scrutinized about their movement and clothes. Some of the social issues that are been constantly inflicted upon them are dowry harassment, domestic violence, female infanticide, sexual harassment etc.

Dowry system
The term dowry goes back to the times when it was known by the name of ‘Kanyadan’. Kanyadan was a practice followed by the bride’s family, where there used to be a gift, ornaments, money, and property was given to the groom’s family. It was done in order to please the groom so that he could take proper care of her better half.

But with the traction of time, Kanyadan has remodeled into dowry. The modern-day dowry is seen as a sin our society due to the brutal consequences of it in our society. Nowadays, it has been become a practice to extort money by hiding behind the curtains of social stigma. In India, almost 10 thousand women lose their life due to this unfortunate repercussion of dowry system.

Social issues like reservation has handicapped the flow of development in India
Social issues like reservation has handicapped the flow of development in India

Reservation
A democratic country which boasts about equal rights privileges doesn’t qualify for it. The concept of reservation is a bane rather than a boon for a society like India. Reservation is a kind of roadblock for equal opportunities which are mentioned in the constitution of India.

This system was brought into place in order to uproot the menace of the caste system in India. As some sections of the society were being ill-treated by others. So, to balance the things out, the concept of the reservation was introduced. But today, it has become a hindrance to achieving a uniform growth in all spheres of work.