Anti Reservation Protests a Result of Less Jobs: Expert

India\'s reservation system is under attack because its rapid economic growth has not resulted an increase in private-sector jobs, a noted expert has said.

Published: 01st September 2015 08:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st September 2015 08:23 AM   |  A+A-


WASHINGTON: India's reservation system is under attack because its rapid economic growth has not resulted an increase in private-sector jobs, a noted expert has said.

"One reason why caste-based quotas have become a flashpoint is because India's rapid economic growth has not resulted in any great increase in private-sector jobs," said Anirudh Krishna, a professor of public policy at Duke University who worked 14 years in the Indian Administrative Service.

India's growth path has relied heavily on the high-tech services sector, staffed by relatively few highly-trained specialists.

All but 8 per cent of working-age Indians are currently employed in the informal sector - where people have no security of tenure, no benefits, no legal contract, and thus no protection against under-payment or arbitrary dismissal, Krishna who works on democracy in developing nations said.

He said there had always been controversy about caste quotas in government job recruitment and career advancement, which were instituted soon after India became an independent nation.

In recent decades, economics and politics have combined forces to worsen the controversy. Because the private sector has not been able to add to the new jobs as a result government positions are in greater demand than ever, Krishna said.

"More than half a million compete each year for the 100 or so positions in the elite Indian Administrative Service. In addition, in 1990, India's central government extended job reservations to a less well-defined category of Other Backward Castes," he said.

"The determination of which group qualifies as backward remains murky and is left largely to the calculations of vote-seeking politicians, rather than being based on clear-cut criteria that can be applied fairly across the board.

Ironically, in order to move forward, castes agitate to be declared backward," Krishna said.

"When the economic logic motivating individual caste agitators meets the political logic of party organisations, mayhem of the kind we are seeing currently in Gujarat will naturally result," he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp