Should there be Reservations in Jobs?

One of the earliest evidences of Indian reservation practice was the “Caste System” when societies were divided into classes such as Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vysya and Shudra. Though the caste system has been abolished by the Indian Constitution, have we really become able to do away with reservations yet? The UPA government’s recent decision to include Jats of 9 states in the Central OBC list is a burning example of how caste system in India still plays a significant role in determining careers of the young generation. This week’s in-house Debate at Fortune Institute of International Business encouraged FIIB-ians to express their views on- “Do you think Reservations in Jobs are justified?”

The Debate mostly received opinions that discouraged using reservation system as an advantage for procuring jobs; but that was not all- a few participants also spoke in favor of it. Select Excerpts from participants can be read here:

Reservations are detrimental to the social equilibrium

Akshita Agrawal (Corporate Communications): Reservation is required only at the nursery-school level to give students a fair chance to get educated. Once they reach second standard they should learn to stand on their feet and compete since they are now being given same education. Let the birth not decide where we belong!

Anuja Bedi (Admission Cell): Jobs should be given based on skills required for the job and acquired by the candidate; a wrong candidate at a wrong place may lead to chaos. Moving our country in the right direction with rigor, we require people with skills that match correctly with their jobs. Reservation leads to just filling quotas with non-qualified skills, which in turn hampers the productivity qualitatively and quantitatively. When other nations are running a race, India is left behind due to such reasons.

Sudhanshu Shekhar (1st year student, FIIB): People with merit should be given justified responsibility. Moreover there will never be a time when any community enjoying reservation will stand up and say that they should not be given any further reservation because they have got access to the top. It’s more of a political agenda now.

Reservations in Jobs is not a futile exercise

Aakanksha Bhatnagar (1st year student, FIIB): Though I do not get any benefit from Job Reservations; I strongly believe that these reservations are valid. When discrimination still exists between a person from the upper caste and a person from the lower caste, why not follow the same discrimination when one is getting employed? In my opinion, either they should be given equal status everywhere (in each and every aspect of life including inter-caste marriages) or there should be reservations for them in the Jobs as well.

Santanu Changmai (Corporate Communications): There is no harm in integrating a reservation system in the Recruitment process for selected sections of jobs. The Indian Reservation Policy is being misused; it was actually formulated to strengthen the weaker sections of the society by giving them fee-rebate or fee-exemption and by reserving seats for them in certain job sectors. But it should not lead to talent suppression or exploitation. A successful businessman’s son who belongs to the Scheduled Caste doesn’t need reservation; but a rickshaw-puller’s son does! The “generic nature” of the reservation system needs to undergo drastic transformation to bring out contemporary solutions; but we can’t totally shut off the system because there are people out there- who really need it.

The Debate received opinions both in support for and against reservation in jobs. The burning question still remains- Is this issue used as a weapon by politicians to gather more votes? Is the reservation system hindering the progress of the nation? Is it making productivity low and demeaning the quality? Should the underprivileged communities be barred from enjoying any special exemption or advantage?

What is your opinion?

Disclaimer: This Article has been written by a member of the Corporate Communications Team at Fortune Institute of International Business, but the views in the article are that of the participants and do not reflect the views of the Institute. This article is a part of the FIIB Debate Series that is conducted regularly on the topics relevant to significant current affairs.