Is It Time to Go Beyond Caste to Determine Eligibility for Reservations?
India needs to adapt a new way to support economically and socially disadvantaged sections of Indian society than caste based reservation system. Caste based reservations have left millions of people across India helpless although it helped urban and literate sections of the society. India should replace caste based reservation system with class based affirmative action system similar to the United States of America. Affirmative action system adapted by the higher educational institutions in the United States has helped economically disadvantaged students of America, as well as the African-American and Latino students tremendously.
The new affirmative action system can also include preferences for both low-income students and the students who are first in the family to attend college. This system will help economically and socially disadvantaged groups and it might not also cause dissatisfaction among the general population, since first generation-students generally tend come from low-income families and may also be the only ones to attend college in their. Allowing the first generation students attending college to utilize affirmative action also might stop abuse of reservation system commonly noted since generations of the wealthy and successful SC/STs and BCs continue to use reservations, while their less fortunate brethren are left in a position of disadvantage.
Affirmative action program similar to the United States or a class-based action program will be more equitable and may also help rid Indian society of the caste system.
Indian government policies are solely to blame for the survival of caste in India in the twentieth century and for its successful continuation into the twenty-first century. Indian society would have moved away from caste in the last sixty-eight years since independence, if the government had not used it as a parameter to determine eligibility for reservations in education and jobs. At least, after seventy years of Indian independence, hopefully, Indian government would come forward with a policy to help economically and socially weaker sections, but move away from the caste system at the same time.