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Reservation is provided to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes at the rate of 15 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively, in central government posts and services. And recently, the Narendra Modi government approved a 10% reservation for economically backward upper castes in government jobs. Why reservation to general class? The decision effectively means that those who are economically backward and fall under the general category will now be able to enjoy benefits of reservation in government jobs, an advantage that wasn't available to them previously. Various sections have been demanding increase in the 50 percent cap in job reservation to include the economically weak among the upper castes. This includes demands from Thakurs in Uttar Pradesh, Rajputs in Rajasthan, Jats in Haryana, Patel Patidar in Gujarat. Who actually are economically backward upper class? Economically weaker section, shall be such as may be notified by the State from time to time on the basis of family income and other indicators of economic disadvantage. The following criteria fulfilling people will get benefits of reservation. • Whose Annual Income is less than 8 Lakh • Who possess agriculture land of a valuation less than 5 Lakh • Who have a residential area below 1000 sq. ft. • Who own less than 109 yards of land in the notified municipality • Who possess less than 200 yards of land in non-notified municipality • Who have not been considered for any reservation till now Constitutional changes: • The Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019 will amends Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution, by adding a clause which allows states to make special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens. • Amendment of Article 16 stated, Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any economically weaker sections of citizens other than the classes mentioned in clause (4), in addition to the existing reservation and subject to a maximum of 10 percent of the posts in each category. • The directive principles of state policy contained in Article 46 of the Constitution enjoins that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation. Benefits: • Admission of applicable candidates to educational institutions (including private educational institutions), whether the institutions are aided or unaided by the state except for the minority educational institutions. Critique: • There is a longstanding Supreme Court verdict that the basic structure of the Constitution does not permit more than 50% reservation. • The eligibility criteria for ‘economic weakness’ has been drawn up in such a way that it appears to cover almost all Indians. The annual family income should not exceed Rs 8 lakh. The maximum area of agricultural land ownership is not to be above 5 acres. The area of house should not be larger than 1,000 sq ft. Some of these criteria are sufficiently liberal to accommodate almost 95% of Indian households. • The real question is why and how reservation generates so much heat when it actually delivers so little concrete benefit. Way forward: • Instead of providing reservation to general class, the focus of government should be on providing unbiased job opportunities. As the major problem right now is the abysmally low level of sustainable employment. • Proper implementation and tracking the results of such schemes of government schemes like Skill India mission, Ayushman Bharat Yojna, etc. this would help on maintaining gap between the upper class and lower class people.