Fate of EWS Reservation Bill hinges on new government

Fate of EWS  Reservation Bill hinges on new government
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The recently enacted bill seeking to provide 10 per cent reservations in education and employment for the economically backward among the upper castes is a shot in the arm for the beneficiaries as well as the government

The recently enacted bill seeking to provide 10 per cent reservations in education and employment for the economically backward among the upper castes is a shot in the arm for the beneficiaries as well as the government.

The concept of reservations in education and jobs has not been a new phenomenon in the Indian society wherein caste plays a major role as a political plank to garner vote bank during the elections. The proposed bill which had obtained the presidential nod recently sets to provide 10 per cent exclusive reservations for the underprivileged among the forward castes who are hitherto denied their due share on par with the SCs, STs & OBCs.

In fact, SCs,STs & OBCs are fortunate enough to already have the privilege of 57 per cent quota in education and employment as entailed to them by virtue of legislative bill enacted in their favour during the reign of National Front (NF) government headed by the former Prime Minister, V.P. Singh in the year 1989.

Ever since the implementation of quota bill under the reservation policy mooted in the year 1989, the prospects for the otherwise oppressed section of SCs & STs have hence been brightened in societal existence. Subsequent to the enactment and implementation of reservation policy by the turn of the century, SCs & STs have set to rule the roost and have come to consolidate their status and existence as fortunate subjects of our society.

But, it is unfortunate that the upper caste section of society which also includes economically deprived section among them, have not in any way been benefited from the terms of reservation policy of 1989 that was short of defining the future of upper castes in government jobs and education especially setting to undermine the career prospects for the poor among them. Hence, the reservation policy of the previous governments has laid an emphasis on career prospects of SCs & STs leaving and discriminating against the poor belonging to the forward castes.

Further, the merit criterion which is commonly an offshoot element / factor among the upper castes has been overlooked following the initiation of reservations in education and jobs. Hence, the lower castes of society have been well advantaged due to reservations despite being short of acclaiming their status based on the criterion of merit.

Also, on an overall review of the situation with regard to the competition existing in education and employment, the spree of reservations has set to dominate in the Indian society thereby providing a very little opportunity for the merit to rule the roost in these essential fields.

Hence, it is obvious from the current situation in the country wherein so far 60 per cent has been earmarked by the government for admissions and recruitments based on special quota, such state of affairs existing in the nation is matchless and peculiar to any other nation, thus leaving a negative impact / impression to sense on the whole.

However, the present issue of 10 per cent reservations for the economically backward among the upper castes opens a Pandora's Box questioning whether such a bill is necessary at a time when the general elections are drawing nearer.

Although this proposal is belated in enactment , it is doubted whether it will stand upright and valid during the reign of the next government that takes the reins of power.

The proposed move to implement 10 per cent reservation for the poor among the upper castes cannot be dismissed ( as totally naive and baseless ) as a departure of the present BJP government from seeking an opportunity / ploy to garner vote bank during the coming elections, in so far as this issue assumes a greater significance in providing a benefit to this particular section of society which is hitherto neglected by the previous governments.

All in all, the Government must re-examine and revive the conditions of eligibility on which the 10 per cent reservations are availed to this section of society, by bringing about necessary amendments in the enacted legislation.

- Bh Indu Sekhar, Hyderabad

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