Rajasthan Quota for the OBCs and Rethinking Reservation Policies


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Rajasthan assembly passed the bill to grant 5 % seats to the five OBC communities that include Gujjars and Gaderiyas. There are similar demands from the dominant OBCs in other states as well.

The move takes the total reservation in the state to 54% and comes before bypolls to Ajmer and Alwar, both of which have a high concentration of OBC votes. The OBC category in Rajasthan has 91 castes and represents 52% of state’s population.

The Patels in Gujarat, the Marathas in Maharashtra, the Kapus in Andhra Pradesh are also demanding reservation as the OBCs. As a few studies are suggesting, there are vast disparities within each singular caste. Each caste named above is dominant in one or other areas, but the members of the caste are at different levels of economic development.

The Gini coefficient is an indicator that measures the inequality in the society. It should be used to determine inequality within the castes to understand how various segments within the castes are doing along with inequality in the caste system. The ideological framework of the SC, ST, OBC, and the converted minorities as “Bahujan” Samaj is great and practical to destroy the minority axis of the “Brahmins and Banias”, but to covert, this ideological framework into workable public policies with a view to completely annihilate the caste is a key.

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This is where statistics and actuarial science can play an important role. The first step towards this is the caste census. We must measure the socio-economic development of various castes along with their household income. On the lines of NSSO, a unit that will analyse individual caste socioeconomic status can be constituted. Once this is done, the policies can be crafted with focused goals. The earlier solution given by Shahu Maharaja of the “negative discrimination” can be very important as well.

Make a list of the castes from the upper castes that are represented disproportionately and bar them from getting representation more than what is due to them.

Author – Mangesh Dahiwale

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