From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Indira Sawhney judgment
Mains level : Making reservation system more efficient
- A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held it unconstitutional to provide 100% reservation for tribal teachers in schools located in Scheduled Areas across the country.
- The Bench was answering a reference made to it in 2016 on whether 100% reservation is permissible under the Constitution.
Reservation in India is a system of affirmative action by the State that provides representation for historically and currently disadvantaged groups in Indian society in education, employment and politics. The 10% EWS quota this year has raised the inevitability for a possible mains question.
No 100% quota
- The apex court held that it is an obnoxious idea that tribals only should teach the tribals.
- Merit cannot be denied in toto by providing reservation observed the judgement.
- Citizens have equal rights, and the total exclusion of others by creating an opportunity for one class is not contemplated by the founding fathers of the Constitution of India.
Invoking Indira Sawhney judgment
- The court referred to the famous Indira Sawhney judgment (Mandal case- Indra Sawhney v. Union of India 1992), which caps reservation at 50%.
- The court held that 100% reservation is discriminatory and impermissible.
- The opportunity of public employment is not the prerogative of few.
- A 100% reservation to the Scheduled Tribes has deprived SCs and OBCs also of their due representation.