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India’s Reservation system for backward Class UPSC NOTE

 Sub classification within India's reservation system for backward classes 

  • The Indian government has a reservation system to address historical disadvantages faced by certain groups.

  • It includes Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

  • The system reserves a certain percentage of seats in government jobs, educational institutions, and other areas for these groups.

  • There is debate about whether to sub-categorize OBCs into smaller groups.

  • Proponents of sub-categorization argue that it would help ensure that the most disadvantaged OBCs benefit from reservations

  • Opponents argue that it would create further divisions within society and be difficult to implement fairly.

  • In 2019, the Supreme Court of India upheld the constitutionality of sub-categorization, but left it to individual states to decide whether to implement it. 

  • As of 2023, several states, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, have implemented sub-categorization.

  • However, it does show the different groups that are included in the OBC category

  • These groups are identified by the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

  • The NCBC has identified 2,631 communities as OBCs. These communities are grouped into three categories:

  1. Backward

  2. More Backward

  3. Extremely Backward

  • The NCBC has recommended that the 27% reservation for OBCs be divided among these three categories in proportion to their population

Arguments for Sub classification

  • The issue of sub-classification within India's reservation system for backward classes, particularly SCs and OBCs, is highly debated and complex. 

  • While acknowledging the complexities, let's explore some of the arguments in favor of sub-classification:

Addressing Internal Inequalities:

  • Varied Socioeconomic Status: Proponents argue that even within SCs and OBCs, there are significant variations in socioeconomic status. 

  • Some sub-castes are more disadvantaged than others in terms of literacy, land ownership, income, and social mobility. 

  • They believe sub-categorization would ensure resources reach the most marginalized within these groups.

  • Creamy Layer Exclusion: Similar to excluding the "creamy layer" (affluent individuals) from reservations, sub-classification aims to exclude better-off sub-castes from availing benefits, allowing them to reach truly underprivileged groups.

Enhancing Reservation Effectiveness:

  • Targeted benefits: Proponents believe dividing reservations within existing quotas could deliver targeted benefits to the most deprived sub-castes. 

  • This could address the criticism that reservations primarily benefit more dominant sections within these groups.

  • Increased Representation: Sub-categorization could ensure broader representation within backward classes, fostering political and social participation of previously neglected sub-castes.

Constitutional Interpretation:

  • Equality within Equality: Some argue that the Constitution's commitment to equality demands addressing internal inequalities within backward classes


Arguments against Sub-classification

  • Opponents argue that sub-categorization could further fragment castes.

  • This creating competition and animosity between sub-castes vying for limited resources. 

  • This could exacerbate existing social tensions and impede efforts towards broader caste-based unity.

  • Fear exists that sub-classification could lead to further stigmatization of already marginalized sub-castes, reinforcing rigid caste identities and fueling identity-based politics.

  • Defining and identifying sub-castes objectively and fairly is a complex task prone to manipulation and political interference

  • Implementation could be riddled with administrative and bureaucratic hurdles, leading to delays and inefficiencies.

  • Sub-categorization might create opportunities for manipulation and misuse by politicians, bureaucrats, and dominant castes within a sub-group, further marginalizing the truly underprivileged.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: India’s Reservation system for backward Class UPSC NOTE
India’s Reservation system for backward Class UPSC NOTE
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