1. Reservations in jobs: Supreme Court makes start in highlighting efficiency principle

Reservations in jobs: Supreme Court makes start in highlighting efficiency principle

Though the increasing demand for reservations in jobs despite nearly 70 years of reservations in educational institutions is clear proof the policy has delivered little.

By: | Published: February 28, 2017 4:53 AM
educational institutions, reservation system in India, blue-collar jobs, Ninth Schedule, BJP on Reservation, National Judicial Service, cheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe candidate Though the increasing demand for reservations in jobs despite nearly 70 years of reservations in educational institutions is clear proof the policy has delivered little. (Source: PTI)

Though the increasing demand for reservations in jobs despite nearly 70 years of reservations in educational institutions is clear proof the policy has delivered little, politicians have had no qualms in pushing for more reservations. Karnataka has not only decided on a 100% quota for Kannadigas in all non-IT, non-BT blue-collar jobs, its chief minister has said he proposes to bring a law providing 70% reservation to SCs/STs/OBCs in the state and push for this to be included in the protective Ninth Schedule.

Rajasthan has been trying to come out with ways to increase reservations for Gujjars, Haryana for Jats and Gujarat for Patidars. Indeed, while the BJP’s manifesto in UP promises 90% reservations for locals in jobs created by industry, the prime minister seemed to suggest a National Judicial Service could be one way to bring Dalits into the judiciary.

If such reservation wasn’t bad enough, over the years, this has been brought into promotions as well. That is, an SC/ST/OBC would get a job in government under a reservation quota and, even if his performance was not good enough to get a promotion, the promotion-quota would ensure this. Sadly, even the SC played along in some cases. In 1997, in Ram Bhagat Singh vs State of Haryana, the SC said “unless the percentage fixed for qualifying marks is such that it is attainable by the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidate, the principle of ensuring equal opportunity cannot be achieved”.

So, it comes as a relief that, a few weeks ago, while striking down Karnataka’s order of reservations in promotions, SC took a different line. It was argued that while this ensured a candidate who came in through reservation could reach the third level of seniority by the age of 45 as compared to a general category candidate who would make it only by the age of 56—this would result in discrimination against general candidates—SC said the “fact that there is no proportionate representation in promotional posts for the population of SCs and STs is not by itself enough to grant consequential seniority to promotes”; it maintained the government had to keep in mind “overall efficiency is not compromised”. Quoting an earlier judgment, it said, “backward classes seek justice, general class … seeks equity … the difficulty comes in when the third variable comes in, namely, efficiency in service”.

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In March 2016, in the case of Suresh Chand Gautam versus the State of Uttar Pradesh and Ors, SC said government “is not bound” to ensure reservations in promotion. And in its July 2016 verdict in the matter of reservations in judicial appointments, upholding the Punjab and Harayana High Court’s verdict, it had said, “There has to be a benchmark… just because one is a Scheduled Caste, the same cannot be done away with …”.

It is true SC has not, as yet, got into the overall merit of the policy of reservations and has chosen to stick to the Indra Sawhney cap of 50%, at some point the impact on efficiency must surely be applied. Also, if reservation has been availed of once, surely it must not be given again in promotions? If SC does not get into the issue, it is clear, the political class will keep pushing reservations and will try and hide this in the Ninth Schedule even though, in the IR Coelho case in 2007, SC had ruled against this protection.

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  1. D
    debanand naik
    Aug 12, 2017 at 3:46 pm
    Caste based Reservation continued......... Selection process in India comprises of two stages. Written performance and interview. If SC/ ST candidates are selected in the apparently transparent written stage, their fate on getting selected at the final list depends on the personal biasness of people at the interview board. There is no system to know what question was asked and what answer was given. As there is no adequate representation of SC/ STs at the top echelon (and deliberately SC/STs are selectively discriminated from reaching to the top level), even the most deserving candidates from SC/ STs get discriminated. Who will ensure fairness? Where will one go? who are the judges to map efficiency? If we talk efficiency and merit, the entire process must be transparent. We are not talking of historical discrimination. we are talking about the socio-psychological aspect of the Indian society. SC/STs being comparatively under privileged, can they afford to satisfy the corruption?
    1. D
      debanand naik
      Aug 12, 2017 at 3:33 pm
      Dear Mr....... It is relating to Reservation in Promotion and some of the Supreme Court Judgements on it. Social Justice, Equality and Efficiency.... the three important aspects always under consideration while forwarding views for and against reservation Indi is a country where you can never over rule corruption, casteism and favouritism in every walk of life. There are around 30 crores people belonging to SC/ST category, cons uting around 25 population of the Country. Now see the statistics ... how many of these category are in higher judiciary, how many are in at the top administrative echelon, how many are there in the top posts of academic ins utions? Do you think that people belonging to these category are lacking in efficiency to be elevated to some of the top posts? Unfortunately, we see one side of the coin. What is the procedure for deciding merits.? Who are the people who decide merit? Are these people free from caste biasness? Is there transparency in selection?
      1. Rinku Mahraj
        Jul 11, 2017 at 11:57 am
        मैं दलित हूं और झाड़ु पोछा, बर्तन और खाना बनाने में किसी की मदद कर पढ़ाई कर रही हूं। मेरा प्रश्न ये दलित हैं? तो मैं क्या हूं ? श्रीमती मीरा कुमार के पिता 50 साल मंत्री, उपप्रधान मंत्री, प्रधान मंत्री पद के दावेदार। सारी उमर दलित होने का लाभ लिया, विदेश सेवा में रही, दो बार केदं्र में मंत्री रहीं, स्पीकर रहीं और अभी भी दलित हैं! इन्होंने और इनकी कांग्रेस ने दलितों की लड़ाई कभी नहीं लड़ी। दलितों को केवल इस्तेमाल किया। श्री राम नाथ कोविंद कुछ दिनों बाद भारत के महामहिम राष्ट्रपति होंगे। यदि कांग्रेस, मायावती, सपा, कामरेड तथा दलित नेताओं ने केवल स्वार्थ सिद्धि के लिये प्रतीकों की राजनीति न करके तो शायद भाजपा का प्रत्याशी कोई और होता । महामहिम राज्यपाल रहने के बाद भी श्री कोविंद दलित हैं, यह दुःख का विषय है । ये दलित थे, दलित रहे दलित रहना चाहते है तो किसी और के लिये क्या करंेगे? जातिप्रथा मुक्त के लिये वर्तमान आरक्षण व्यवस्था को बदलो, आरक्षण का आधार आर्थिक करो। मेरा फेसबुक पेज rinkumahraj at homail dot com
        1. A
          Apr 26, 2017 at 11:37 am
          Backward Cl es do not get jobs in open quota.. This final decision is what will happen after this.Please tell anyone...
          1. S
            S kumar
            Apr 6, 2017 at 10:46 pm
            Bakwas nothing else
            1. P
              Feb 28, 2017 at 7:48 am
              Can the Financial Express help the Supreme Court as to what parameters can be used to measure efficiency?
              1. A
                alok sharma
                Mar 19, 2017 at 5:51 pm
                reservation is a settled issue do not burn this country let the status quo prevail
                1. J
                  Feb 28, 2017 at 5:40 pm
                  Reservation has NEVER helped. In fact it has ALWAYS RESULTED IN THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM, EVERYWHERE
                  1. P
                    Feb 28, 2017 at 3:45 am
                    Supreme Court's efforts to highlight efficiency principle on reservation in jobs and promotion are most welcome. Everyone irrespective of caste and creed, rank and file and political affiliation should support it for our country is to shine.
                    1. R
                      Feb 28, 2017 at 5:16 pm
                      Reservations should not be based on Caste instead should be based on Annual Household Income. Students who have studied in Government Schools and Colleges should be preferred for Government jobs.Underperforming Staff should have redundancies even in Government Sector. Make Government Employees accountable for their actions as they live on Tax Payer Money. But Bitter truth is nothing will change and we will never develop. Even Modi cannot change anything unfortunately.
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