Schedule 10 of the Indian Constitution lists the provisions that were added to the Constitution to give effect to the recommendations of the Mandal Commission. The Mandal Commission was set up in India in 1979 to identify socially and educationally backward classes of citizens, and recommend measures for their advancement.
The Commission submitted its report in 1980, and recommended that a certain percentage of government jobs and seats in educational institutions be reserved for these backward classes, which came to be known as the Other Backward Classes (OBCs). This recommendation was highly controversial, and led to widespread protests and even violence.
To give effect to the Commission’s recommendations, the Constitution was amended in 1990 to add Schedule 10, which lays down the criteria for identifying the OBCs, and provides for their reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.
Some of the key provisions of Schedule 10 are:
It defines the “socially and educationally backward classes” as the classes which are deemed to be socially and educationally backward by the government. The criteria for identifying these classes are based on factors such as social and educational status, income, and occupation.
It provides for a quota of 27% for OBCs in government jobs and educational institutions.
It lays down that the reservation for OBCs shall not exceed 50%.
It provides that reservation for OBCs shall not affect the reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
It provides for the setting up of a National Commission for Backward Classes to investigate and make recommendations regarding the inclusion or exclusion of any class from the OBC list.
The inclusion of Schedule 10 in the Constitution has been a subject of much debate and controversy. While many see it as a necessary step towards ensuring social justice and equality, others view it as a form of reverse discrimination that goes against the principle of meritocracy.
Despite the controversies, Schedule 10 continues to be an important part of the Indian Constitution, and its provisions are regularly invoked in discussions and debates about affirmative action and reservation policies in India.