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Pros and Cons of Reservation

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By: Mohammad Nadeem

Reservation is a form of positive discrimination, created to promote equality among marginalised sections, so as to protect them from social and historical injustice.

Generally, it means giving preferential treatment to marginalised sections of society in employment and access to education. It was also originally developed to correct years of discrimination and to give a boost to disadvantaged groups.

In India, people have been historically discriminated on the basis of caste.

Pros of Reservation

It ensures diversity in advanced education, equality in the workplace and offers protection from hatred. It helps in the emancipation of disadvantaged individuals and thereby promotes equality for all.

It breaks stereotypes regarding caste, religion, and ethnicity and increases social mobility. It is needed to compensate for centuries of oppression and discrimination and provides level-playing fields. It seeks to bring equity in society by addressing ‘graded inequalities’.

Cons of Reservation

There is concerns that leads to erosion of meritocracy.

It can still reinforce stereotypes as it demeans the achievements of marginalized sections.

People coming under the ambit of reservation, their success is labeled as a result of Reservation, instead of their capabilities and hard work. There are concerns that reservation can serve as a medium for reverse discrimination.

Reverse discrimination is discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group, in favour of members of a minority or historically disadvantaged group.

Due to vote bank politics, even after discrimination issues have been diminishing, it is difficult to withdraw the reservation.


The reservation policy was introduced only for a temporary timeframe until equality reigns amongst all bases of discrimination. However, the policy of reservation has been continuing for over six decades now and has been expanding.

Since, Reservation is necessary to provide equality, equity, and diversity in society. The Policy of reservation results in social upliftment of marginalized sections, however, there is a need for rationalizing this current policy so that a balance can be established between social mobility and merit.

(The author is a Columnist, Poet and an author)

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