INTRODUCTION. Equality as an ideal has been a strong force in the evolution of human civilization though it meant different things at different periods of history. Essentially the idea seems to have arisen from consideration on how to deal with difference in people within the same group or outside it. The emphasis was on rationalization of inequalities in a manner that promoted division of labour, mutual co-existence & socio-cultural legitimizations, which suited the dominant class.
INTRODUCTION The constitution of India provides to all the citizens,social,economic& political justice & equality of status & of opportunity. Article 14 to 18 of the constitution guarantees the right to equality to every citizen of india.Article 14 embodies the general principles of equality before law & prohibits unreasonable discrimination between persons.
IMPROVEMENTS CREATED BY CIVILRIGHTS AND WOMEN’S MOVEMENTS Employment opportunities, university enrollment, etc of women and minorities risen dramatically. Enforcement of policies of fairness towards all peoples commonplace. Fairer wages.
THE NECESSITY OF CONTINUED ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS Many people in this country still, unfortunately, are opposed to the ideal of equality Any lack of enforcement of these laws gives more power to such people Although progress in achieving equality has been made due to the laws, true equality has not yet been reached, and can only be attained through further diligence
WHAT IS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION?A common misunderstanding: Reservation of certain facilities to ‘under-privileged’ minorities What it really means: Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act states that: “703 (j) Nothing contained in this title shall be interpreted to require any employer… to grant preferential treatment to any individual or to any group because of the race, color, religion, sex, or national origin group on account of any imbalance which may exist with respect to the total number or percentage of persons of any race, color, religion, sex, or national origin by any employer…”
WHY CREATE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION? The intended purpose of Affirmative Action is to increase the opportunity for minority groups “You do not take a person …bring him up to the starting line of a race and say, you are free to compete with all the others, and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.” –President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965
AFFIRMATIVE = REVERSE ACTION DISCRIMINATION Affirmative action also affects the majority group i.e. leads to Reverse Discrimination.
EMPLOYMENT Hiring under-qualified people Quality of work may decrease Morale of employees is affected
CHART Moreeffective employees may be at a disadvantage 25 20 15 Actual 10 By IQ 5 0 0k - 10k- 20k- 30k- 45k & 10k 20k 30k 45k over
DISADVANTAGES Accepting students who cannot meet the minimum requirements Scholarships aimed specifically towards minorities Hiring employees who are not as qualified as others
PROVISION FOR AFFIRMATIVEACTION. The philosophy & the objective of the constitution has been clearly set out in the preamble, the fundamental rights,& the Directive principles of state policy which are to remove social stigma & the handicaps suffered by certain sections of the Indian population.
SOCIAL SAFEGUARDS. Non- discrimination as constitutional policy. Prohibition of Untouchability & rejection of caste-based discrimination are the major policies of the constitution in this sphere. The Protection of civil rights act 1955& The Scheduled castes & Scheduled Tribes (prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989. Article 17 read with article 15(2)protects an individual from discriminatory practice/conduct not only on the part of the state but even on the part of the private persons in certain situations.
ECONOMIC SAFEGUARDS: Fifth schedule to the constitution contains provisions regarding the administration & control of the scheduled areas& scheduled tribes. There are eight states having scheduled areas, viz., Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat,Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh,Maharashtra, Orissa.& Rajasthan. According to Article 244(1) the provision of fifth schedule shall apply to the administration& control of the scheduled areas& scheduled tribes in any state other then the state of Assam,Meghalaya,Tripura,& Mizoram. Article 275(1) provides that “shall be paid out of the consolidated fund of india as grant-in aid of the revenues of state such capital & recurring sum as may be necessary.
EDUCATIONAL CULTURALSAFEGUARDS: Article 15(4) empowers the state to make special provision for the advancement of any society & educationally backward classes of citizens or for SCs&STs. This provision was added to the constitution the constitution 1st amendment Act 1951. P.A Inamdhar V State of Maharashtra (2005) supreme court held that neither the policy of reservation can be enforced by the state nor can any quota or percentage of admission can be carved out to be appropriated by the state.
POLITICAL SAFEGUARDS: Article 164(1) provides that in the state of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh & Orissa there shall be a minister in charge of tribal welfare who may in addition be in change of the welfare of the scheduled castes & backward classes or any other work. Article 330 provides for reservation of seats of SCs/STs in the lok sabha. And Article 334 lays down the provision relating to the reservation of seats for SCs& STs in Lok sabha& state Vidhana sabhas and reservation for Anglo Indian community.
RESERVATION LAWS IN IXSCHEDULE The IX schedule was incorporated into the constitution with the purpose of providing protection to agrarian & economic reform legislations. Object of the IX schedule was to save land reforms laws enacted by various states from being challenged in the court.
NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR SCS &STS: Under article 338 & 338A National commissions for SCs& STs are constituted to investigate about all matters relating to safeguards, inquire into complaints. To investigate & monitor all matters relating to the safeguards providing for the scheduled caste(scheduled Tribes) under this constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the government & to evaluate the working of such safeguards. To report to the president, annually & at such other times as the commission may deem fit, reports on working of those safeguards.
CONCLUSION. Affirmative action as a means of empowerment & an instrument of social justices have taken multiple forms & has been employed by various levels of Government with region-specific political policy decisions. With the growth of society, the features & characteristics of the beneficiaries & of the categories of reservation also undergo change. The ceiling limit of 50%the concept of creamy layer & the compelling reasons, namely: backwardness, inadequacy of representation & overall administrative efficiency are all constitutional requirements without which the structure of equality of status & of opportunity would collapse.