Reservation, in simple terms, refers to making an exception for a few. It refers to a quota system where a fixed number of seats are reserved in government jobs & educational institutions, backed by the Indian Constitution. Some regard it as positive discrimination.

Purpose of reservation in India

The objective was two-fold i.e.

  • To uplift socially & educationally backward classes of society.

  • To provide them with adequate representation so that their voices can be raised.

Before 2019, the reservation was granted on the basis of social and educational backwardness. However, after the 103rd constitutional amendment in 2019, economic backwardness is also taken into account.


The exploitation done by Britishers & landlords compelled the Constitution framers to build a common platform for all in the country. It was suggested by the Mandal Commission. At that time, it was seen as an affirmative action but after completion of 71 years of Independence, can it be considered as the same?

Dr Ambedkar suggested that law pertaining to reservation should be revised after five years. But no revision has been undertaken yet.

Impact of reservation

Reservation has so far been used only to gather the vote banks by various political parties. The initial purpose of providing equal opportunity is forbidden by political motives. The definition of the reservation is modified accordingly by politicians. Due to the reservation, those who are talented & have brilliant minds are not able to get jobs or what they deserve and those less competent get that. This leads to a clear distinction among people.

Is reservation necessary?

There are many people who have to struggle to get even a square meal in a day. The reservation system should be fair. It should be strictly based on financial status, not on caste or religion. It's not the fault of a person who is of a general category but still doesn't have money. Don't they deserve an equal chance as provided to the reserved category? Do the people who actually need it get it?

We can think of an alternative mechanism to treat unequals equally. Reservation is not a poverty alleviation scheme, rather it promotes injustice in the economy.


No ailment can be cured without knowing it's causes. The situation needs to be tackled at the grass root level. Instead of spending a huge chunk of money on subsidies, spending funds on imparting quality education to all is required.

Reservation should be provided on the basis of the financial condition of a family. A proper & clear distinction should be made & proper criteria should be followed.

Reservation, now can't be regarded as promoting development rather it is leading the Indian economy on the path of stagnation as

“When more people aspire for backwardness rather than forwardness, the country itself stagnates”. Reservation should be such that it filters the truly economically deprived individuals and bring them at par with the rest.

Is the current system of reservation correct? Isn't it creating more injustice? Is this the only way to deal with inequality? The right action at the right time can take the nation on the path of victory. It's high time for us to introspect & deal with these questions on an urgent basis.