As a result of caste based inequality the worst hit are the Schedule Castes (SC), Schedule Tribe (ST) and the other Backward Classes (OBC). In order to bring them to the mainstream, the makers of the Indian Constitution included certain provisions in parts III, IV and XVI of the Constitution. Article 15, 16, 17 and 46 contain revolutionary provisions for the creation of socialistic pattern of society or altruism society. The aim of reservation system is the establishment of egalitarian society.
Provisions for Reservation System
The National Commission for SC’s and ST’s are empowered to exchange their socio-economic status through different provisions. The provision is made for the identification of other Backward Classes both by the Central and State Governments. They are empowered to appoint Backward Classes Commission.
Art. 15, clauses (4) and (5) of the Constitution provides reservation of seats to SCs, STs and Backward Classes in educational institutions. Even the private aided and unaided institution must also reserve certain seats to the students belonging to these groups as per the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 15% of seats for SCs and 3% for STs are reserved. Right to education has also provided reservation to these communities.
Art 16, clause (4) of the Constitution provides equal opportunities to all in public services. Art 335 claims reservation for SCs and STs in Public Service both in Central and State Governments.
The Mandal Commission report recommended 27% job reservation for other backward classes (OBC) in 1980. It was implemented in 1990.
Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly
Art. 330 and 332 of the Indian Constitution provides reservation to SCs and STs both in Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assembly respectively.
Article 243D, of the Indian constitution seats are reserved for SCs and STs in every Panchayat in proportion to their population. Under the same Article the offices of the chairpersons in the Panchayat Raj Institutions are reserved for these groups as per the law made by State Governments. For Backward Classes also seats may be reserved by the State government in any panchayat or offices of chairpersons. Art. 243T provides for reservation of seats for these groups in urban local governments.
Abolition of untouchability
Article 17 of the constitution of India provided for abolition of untouchability. The SCs and STs (Prevention of atrocities) Act was enacted by parliament in 1989. It is also known as the “Dalit Act”. It came into force from 30th January 1990. It specifies the atrocities which are liable for severe penalties. Under section 21 of the act, the State governments are required to take effective measures for its implementation.
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