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Affirmative action, India

Briefing/policy papers

Affirmative action policies in India are operative in three main spheres, namely appointment and promotion in government services, admission to public education institutions, and seats in the legislature. In government services, there are reservations for SCs and STs in proportion to their share of population, in the civil service, public companies, statutory bodies, and voluntary
agencies, although not in defense or the judiciary. In education, the government reserves places for SC and ST students in all government-run educational institutions. In political representation, constituencies are reserved for SCs and STs in Central and State legislatures in proportion to their population share. In each case there are complementary provisions designed to increase the ability of SCs and STs to take advantage of the opportunities offered.

Sukhadeo Thorat