The word ‘reservation’ can be defined as an act of reserving or keeping back or holding something. It is a kind of process to provide facilities to the people belonging to the weaker sections of the societies in the areas of education, scholarship, jobs, and government service and in other spheres in which they are not being represented properly. The reservation system is under the control of constitutional laws, statutory codes, local rules and regulations.


In India, this system is also known as ‘Quota System’, meant for the people attached to the reserved category. It has been implemented to uplift such people coming from economically and socially weaker sections. The Government of India amends the criteria of reservation timely. Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC), and other similar classes in some states are the main beneficiaries of this policy under the Constitution of the country, with an objective of having ‘a leveled playing field’, meaning social, economic and political equality. The framers of the Constitution believed that due to the caste system, these sections, were historically oppressed, denied respect and equal opportunity in the Indian society and were hence under-represented in the nation-building activities.




In India, the reservation is being provided by the Government on the following basis:


  • Caste: To those caste whose economic conditions are poor and who belonging to the socially weaker castes. The principal category of includes Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe and also OBC.


  • Religion: Provisions have been made for people following faiths such as Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, etc.


  • Domicile: It means ‘place of living’, under this those people having domicile certificate can benefit from the reservation of some jobs, posts or other services in their respective state.


  • Gender: For women, seats are reserved in the many areas, providing equal opportunity to them.


Reservation is a form of Affirmative Action whereby a certain percentage of seats are reserved in Parliament, State Legislative Assembly, Central and State Services, Public Sector Units and in all Public and Private Educational Institutions except in the Minority and Religious Educational Institutions for the reserved categories. The Constitution of India provides three types of reservations i.e. Political, Educational and Employment and the percentage for the reservation of these has been fixed by them.