What is the latest reservation rule?

  • Jul 10, 2024
What is the latest reservation rule?

Unfortunately, the most recent reservation rule in India has been introduced.

Reservations in the Indian system have been in practice since the time of independence to liberate the condemned sections of people such as the SCs, STs, and OBCs. The Indian constitution allows the government to provide for these communities the right to reservation in legislatures, government jobs, and educational institutes. Over the decades, there have been several changes and new regulations, with reservations made to increase the extent of its provisions. The most recent significant event in this regard is the 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act passed in January 2019 for offering a 10% quota in employment as well as in educational institutions for the economically disadvantaged class in the general category.

Key Highlights of the New 10% EWS Quota: Key Highlights of the New 10% EWS Quota:

  • This is apart from the Supreme Court-mandated 50% reservations for SC/ST/OBC in all the central fundamental higher learning institutions. This way, it means that reservations can go up to 60% in total.
  • The new quota is for every applicant belonging to the general category can apply for admission only if his / her family income is less than Rs 8 lakh per annum and has no more than 5 acres of agricultural land.
  • This reservation is applicable in the central and state government employment, central and state government aided and unaided educational institutions and even self-financing schools, colleges, and other institutions excluding the institutions run by the minority communities.
  • The amendment allows states some flexibility in the extent to which they are allowed to maintain laws concerning EWS reservations. They also have a degree of freedom when it comes to the criteria of income as well as what constitutes a limit or an exclusion.
  • To apply these classification structures within central institutions, enabling resolutions have also been made by the central government and an expert committee for classifications concerning EWS eligibility criteria has also been established.
  • The new quota was implemented in the general category seats of the 20192020 academic session itself after getting clearance from the Supreme Court. The Court held that the new law is constitutional and responded to the questions concerning the basic structure of the constitution and adequate justification for affirmative action.

Arguments in Favor:

Some people assert that the new 10% quota is actually in consonant with the idea of reservations because the aim of the quotas has always been aimed at ensuring that the members of the disadvantaged sections of the society get a fair shot at education and employment and not necessarily for a few castes. As poverty has extended to the ‘forward castes’, it provides monetary assistance to deserving candidates to change their status by educating the young and providing them jobs. The government can extend the notion of meritocracy and support socioeconomic diversity. As the GER ratios and incomes increased across communities over the decades, the sequelae of the intergenerational reservation policies were required to aid the new disadvantaged. The new quota may also reduce the intensity of the resentment against the other quotas by broadening the reach of affirmative action. Contrary to the negative tones that have been painted by critics who claim that this new law will allow for the inclusion of many affluent families, the existence of barriers such as a Rs 8 lakh annual family income cut off limit and other requirements eliminates such apprehensions. Even though an addition of 10% over 50 % may appear relatively high, many states have much higher quotas; for instance, Tamil Nadu has 69%.

Arguments Against:

The critics have argued that while seeking to incorporate the economic parameters, the very idea of representation which is the foundations of the policy on reservation has been eroded. In a way changing the very essence of protective discrimination that was envisaged for socially marginalized sections of India, may harm those chastised people who are still discriminated against. A policy of affirmative action cannot be based on economics alone, since social disadvantage affects representation more extremely. There is a possibility that most of the educated and politically empowered castes would monopolize such benefits and impoverish the benefits for the downtrodden society unless a strict check is put in place. It is worth remembering that private institutions for example are not under the social justice agenda like the public ones are, and therefore the incorporation of the private institutions violates the affirmative action principles in education. This amendment is also facing legal scrutiny in the Supreme Court for changing the basic structure of the constitution by going over the 50 percent ceiling for quotas that were originally intended as a rationality check to curb inefficiency and distort merit-based openings.


In conclusion, the extension of reservation benefits based on purely economic criteria in the 103rd constitutional amendment means that the affirmative action system of India has gone deviant from the one it had built up over the last seven decades that was based on social backwardness. Although valuable to sway political voters before the 2019 elections, only time will tell if, on balance it improves social justice and development in India or simply adds weight to an already delicate and disputed quota system. Since, delicate equilibriums are now called for between the utility of the institutions, merit-based admission and employment on one side and, the dream of an egalitarian India on the other, how this latest change in the reservation policy will play out in the future years will be watched with interest.

Call us at +1 833-902-2090 to secure the best deals on flight tickets today. Don't miss out on unbeatable prices for your next adventure!