Effect of Caste-based Reservation in India on Employment Status of Non-reserved Category



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Before independence from the British rule in 1947, Hindus in India were divided by 4 prominent castes: Brahmins (teachers and preachers), Kshatriya (kinship and warriors), Vaishyas (businessmen and merchants) and Shudras (laborers and servants also considered untouchables), in ascending order. The suppression of the lower castes at the hands of upper castes laid the foundation of reservation in jobs and educational institutions for disadvantaged groups in the Indian Constitution which was drafted in 1950. Initially, the primary beneficiaries of reservation were the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, however, in 1990, Other Backward Classes also started receiving the benefits of the Reservation System. Critiques of this system are of the opinion that reservation puts the non-reserved (Open) category individuals at a disadvantage because they compete for spots in jobs and educational institutions based on merit alone. This study looks at the effect of caste-based reservation on the employment status of non-reserved category individuals. Data from Wave 4 and Wave 6 was used to generate graphs for education levels, employment status and financial conditions of participants to help analyze the effect of reservation on non-reserved category individuals. The findings indicate that there is no negative effect of reservation on the employment status of non-reserved category individuals.