Suppose that people of India (in future) wants to get rid of reservations for Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and Other Backwards Classes which collectively accounts to 49%.

What are the legislative steps that have to be taken for the same?


Is it a legislative nightmare for removing the reservations?

1 Answer 1


Legislative Process

India's parliament has a web page which outlines the process. I'll summarize a bit below, but that page is more detailed.

Reservations for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are in the Constitution (Part XVI, 330 on page 228)

1.) The bill must be introduced into Parliament. It can be introduced into any house, either by a Minister or any member of Parliament.

2.) The bill may be assigned to a committee. Committees can hear testimony about the bill, and report back to their house. Some committees have the ability to edit the bill also.

3.) After the bill has left committee and returned to its house, it may be voted on. Scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are laid out in the Constitution, so the electoral standard is 2/3 majority of those present in each house, as well as at least 50% of the total membership of the lower house (House of the People).

Other backwards classes are not given reservations by the Constitution. The Constitution does allow for it (for example, 340(1) on page 238 allows the President to create a commission to investigate backward classes). The current OBC reservation looks like it was created by one of these commissions and upheld by the judiciary (source: an article in the Times of India). In this case, the bill only needs a simple majority of votes to pass.


Is the process a nightmare? "Nightmare" might be a bit strong, in most ways this is a very common legislative process. Nothing about the legislative process makes it particularly difficult to remove. Any change to a constitution is a risk, and so a higher threshold should be applied to them.

Is it a political nightmare? Maybe. A lot of people benefit from reservations, and it may be difficult to win their support for ending that system.

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