SC/ST in Promotions

“Equality is not just treating equals equally, Equality is in treating unequals unequally”

India has been under the clutches of the evil caste system from the ancient period. This evil practise has created a huge rift amongst the people belonging to different caste groups and has led to stagnation of the growth of our society. Unfortunately the prejudice prevails in our society and thus it becomes necessary to provide the less privileged sections and most adversely affected caste sections with reservations as an aid.

Current context: –
Supreme court recently allowed the centre to give promotion to SC/ST candidates in “accordance with the law”.
However, it was a not very clear what was to be interpreted from the statement “as per law”.
Legal aspects: –
  1. Reservation is not right to redressal, it is a right to access that needs to be given to people.
  2. Articles 14, 15(A), 16(A) speak about reservation.
  3. After the highly significant Indra Sawhney case(1992), the apex court asked the centre to make a proper law on reservation in promotion.
  4. Consequently, two important constitutional amendments took place namely the “The Constitution (77th Amendment) Act, 1995″, According to this Act, the Government have decided to continue the existing policy of reservation in promotion for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and “85th Amendment Act, 2001”, was to extend the benefit of reservation in favour of the SC/ST in matters of promotion with consequential seniority. The amendment has substituted, in clause (4A) of Article 16 of the Constitution, for the words ”in matters of promotion to any class” the words ”in matters of promotion, with consequential seniority, to any class”.
  5. Other important mentions in the constitution: –
15(4)- Special provisions for SC/ST in education
16(4)- Reservation in promotion for SC/ST candidates
Statistics and data: –
The discrimination of SC/ST candidates on higher posts is not only evidently found in corporate sector but also in the public sector.
The following table represents the actual no. of seats allocated to these groups and their actual representation in the Central government jobs: –

Thus, the inequity at the higher posts in public sector can be drawn out from the facts and data mentioned above.
Social aspects: –
  1. Reservations shouldn’t be seen as a bothering issue by those who are privileged because people shouldn’t mistake reservation with a poverty alleviation program or kind of a favour to somebody.
  2. In a huge democratic system like ours, certain communities find it difficult to enter the system and even if they manage to do it somehow, they are deprived if higher posts. Statistically, the discrimination and deprivation of dalits at higher posts is quite evident.
  3. According to sociologists, if discrimination and prejudice prevails in the society then there is definitely need of reservation.
  4. Efficiency and merit are dubious and subjective matters and hence the equality in the society shouldn’t be compromised at the cost of efficiency.
Way forward: –
Caste continues to be predominantly important in our society and hence the government should engage with it empirically. Accordingly, the need of the hour is to maintain relevant data through constant census and regular surveys, we need to discuss more about creamy layer, monopoly, etc and hence it is a very diverse and a vast topic.

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