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The Editorial Analysis- By The Book

OBC Reservation- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges– Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

The Editorial Analysis- By The Book_40.1


OBC Reservation in news

  • Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) has allowed Madhya Pradesh to implement 14% reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and notify the elections for nearly 23,263 local bodies within two weeks.

Jute Packaging Material Act: New Reservations Approved


SC on OBC quota in Madhya Pradesh

  • The Supreme Court (SC) had on May 10 ordered the State to proceed with the elections without Other Backward Classes (OBCs) quotas.
  • The Supreme Court has since then reassured itself that the State has met the ‘triple test’ criteria it had established in 2010 for OBC reservation in local bodies.
  • Triple Test Criteria: The Supreme Court laid down following triple test
    • A commission that undertook contemporaneous empirical inquiry into the nature and implications of the backwardness in the context of local bodies,
    • Break-up of the reservation local body-wise, and
    • Adherence to the 50% ceiling on quotas.

संपादकीय विश्लेषण- बाय द बुक

Local Body Reservation in Madhya Pradesh (MP)

  • Madhya Pradesh had already provided for reservation for women besides Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  • Madhya Pradesh’s proposed quota for OBCs is 14%, which will keep the aggregate within the 50% ceiling- one of the test under triple test criteria.



Associated Issues

  • Acceptability of MP commission report: The State has convinced the Court that it had indeed met the triple test, but the validity and accuracy of the commission report remain open to further judicial scrutiny.
  • Reservation in Political Sphere: OBC reservation remains a controversial question on which the law is still evolving and public opinion is fractious.
  • Suitability of Existing Criteria: The Court has held that the criteria for reservation in job and education, which is social and educational backwardness, need not be applied for reservation in local bodies.
    • The SC said that the Backwardness to be established for political reservation can be of a different nature.


Reservation in Politics- Way Forward

  • While quotas have proven to be an effective instrument of empowerment and justice, competitive politics around them often leads to a paralysis of politics and governance.
  • Making the reservation regime fair, objective, and empirical is a major governance challenge, and the Court’s attempts in that direction is welcome.
  • Political parties and governments must act in tandem with the judiciary so that reservation programmes do not turn divisive but serve a development purpose.


OBC Quota: SC upholds OBC quota in NEET


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