What’s The Point of 10% Quota When There Aren’t Enough Jobs?

A report in the EPW suggests that of the total jobs reservation quota is applied only to 18% of jobs.

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Modi government has introduced a provision  that allows the economically weak upper castes to enjoy 10% reservation in government jobs. Whether it's a genuine attempt to aid the economically weaker sections or a political stunt ahead of general elections is a matter of debate. But I have few questions for you:

  1. Do you know how many jobs are there in the private and government sector?
  2. On how many jobs reservation is given?
  3. Have you ever read, seen, or heard any politician minister or any government official reveal those numbers?

No, because the Modi government has not presented any relevant data in the past five years through which you can know the correct numbers. It has handed a lollipop in the name of reservation.

So let's start counting the number of jobs.


Reservation Applies to Only 18% of Jobs

A report based on official figures in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) suggests that of the total jobs reservation quota is applied to only 18% of jobs, which implies there are 1 crore 54 lakh such jobs.

And this number includes jobs at every level in central and state governments. Some state government jobs are given preference at the local level too.

According to this report, in 2012 there were a total of 856 lakh salaried persons. This number didn't include workers who are related to agricultural sector.

600 lakh workers, which is 70% of the 856 lakh, work in the private sector. This means only the remaining 256 lakh work in the government sector. But the story doesn’t end here. The real surprise is that out of these 256 lakh jobs only 40% are contract-based, on which reservation doesn’t apply.

And reservation is applicable to almost 154 lakh jobs, that is 60% of the total available government jobs.

Out of the total 125 crore Indians, only 1 crore 54 lakh are eligible for reservation.

You must have heard the couplet: ‘Love is not easy. Think of it as a river of fire that must be crossed by dipping oneself in it.'  Now read it by replacing government jobs with 'love'.  Getting these jobs isn't easy. It's like a river of fire that needs to be crossed. The example of SSC exams, UP teachers’ exam and railways entrance exams held in past years are fairly reflective of the couplet.

Especially if you are an average student then you definitely cross the river of fire at various levels.

  • You'll first prepare for a job
  • Then after filling your form, you will wait for an admit card that will arrive late
  • Then you'll have to fight for it
  • If you are lucky, then you'll get to take the exam on time
  • And then you might have to fight again for your result
Even that result is no guarantee that you will get the job. You might have to fight for your case in court regarding some problem, and finally, if your stars are good then only you can get the job.

Will the Number of Jobs Increase?

Looking at the 10% reservation, word has it that 10 lakh seats will also be increased in colleges. The same happened in 2007 when the UPA government introduced reservation to OBC candidates in educational institutions.

So, according to this pattern, will the number of jobs also increase?

Figures suggest otherwise. Instead of increasing, jobs are decreasing. The EPW report says that the 23.2% share of government jobs in 2004-05 has slipped to 18.5% in 2011-12.

Now tell me – if providing reservation on these shrinking jobs is not like giving lollipops, then what is?

This page was originally published on Quint Hindi

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