Caste has always been an all-pervasive feature of Indian society. While the Brahmins have always headlined the hierarchical structure, the untouchables always occupied the lowest position. Hence, several rights, most importantly, voting rights and education rights have never been in the domain of lower section of the society which is why they had to suffer a great deal of oppression at the hands of upper caste sect of the Indian society before Independence.
After Independence, several efforts were made to better their condition and hence, SC, ST and OBC’s who suffered optimum oppression in the pre-independence era became the major beneficiaries of the reservation system which was backed up by the Indian constitution post-independence.
While in its most primary form, the reservation system was limited to voting, soon further debates encouraged the application of this policy in the domain of education as well. However, at the inception of the reservation policy, the reservation bill was passed only for ten years, but since then, demographics are reversed, but the policy remains same.
In the current scenario, “In central government funded higher education institutions, 22.5% of available seats are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students (7.5% for STs, 15% for SCs). This reservation percentage has been raised to 49.5% by including an additional 27% reservation for OBCs.”