124th constitutional amendment offers reservation of 10% for economically weaker sections and it was brought in 2019. This amendment was done to amend the Constitution of India to extend 10% reservations in direct recruitment in common jobs and for admission in higher education institutions to economically weaker sections. It seeks to provide for the advancement of economically weaker sections of all the castes and communities including christians and muslims. It helps the poor among the upper castes. In simple words it’s about facilitating access to seats in common jobs, educational institutions and even legislatures to certain sections of the population. In our country it is governed by common policies backed by the Indian constitution.
This system is rooted in the age all old system of India because lower castes have faced historical injustice due to their caste identity. William hunter and jyoti rao phule in 1882 conceived the idea of caste based reservation system and then it was introduced in 1933 when British Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald presented the communal award which made Separate electorate for Muslim, Indians, christians, Anglo Indians and other community. After long negotiations ambedkar and Gandhi signed the poona pact decided that there would be a single Hindu electorate with certain reservations in it.
INCREASE IN DEMAND
However in recent decades there has been seen an increase in the demand for reservation because it is considered as remedy for the adverse effects of ill thought out development policies. A number of factors are responsible for this violent agitation associated with demands for reservation. These are acute agrarian distress, increasing unemployment and loss of jobs. There has also been demands made by the marathas in maharashtra, jats in Haryana, rajputs in rajastan, kapus in telagana, andhra pradesh and Patel patidars in gujarat.
There has also been increasing demand for reservation in the upper caste for the fear of losing privilege and inability to cope with change therefore upper caste is also beginning to feel disadvantaged especially in the context of common jobs as it won’t get similar advantage like backward classes. 124th amendment of the Constitution 2019 was brought to provide reservation to these economic weaker sections of the society for the direct recruitment for government jobs and admission to higher education institutions. This act amends article 15 and 16 of constitution.
CRITERIA FOR RESERVATION
There has been certain criteria to be eligible for reservation in EWS category it can be benefited to those who are in general category and whose family’s gross annual income is below 8 lakh rupees including income from all sources.
Persons whose family owns this following assets can not be included in EWS category
- 5 acres of agricultural land and above
- Residential flat of 1000 ft² and above
- residential plot of 100 yd² in above notified multiplicities
- the Residential plot of 200 yd² and above in areas other notified municipalities.
- The property held by family in different locations will be clubbed while applying for the EWS details.
CHALLENGES TO CONSTITUTIONAL STATUS
There has been reservation cap of 50% in the Indra Sawhney case in 1992 where Supreme Court said that reservations beyond 50% violate article 14 (right to equality) and 1/2 of the jobs and seats in education institution must be for the general category. This step will also violate the Supreme Court ruling of Kesavananda Bharti case which states that any amendment which offends the basic structure of constitution would be ultra wires.
Reservation is fair as far as it provides appropriate positive discrimination for the benefit of backward sections of society. It also leads to associated problems such as passing the benefits to only privileged who have already been benefited by reservation. The communities exploded from reservation often harbour animosity and prejudice against the castes included in the reservation category.