Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 22 – Q 1.How did the implementation of the Mandal Commission Report change the socio-political discourse in India? Discuss.

1. How did the implementation of the Mandal Commission Report change the socio-political discourse in India? Discuss. 

मंडल कमीशन रिपोर्ट के कार्यान्वयन ने भारत में सामाजिकराजनीतिक प्रवचन को कैसे बदल दिया? चर्चा करें।


The Mandal Commission, or the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Commission (SEBC), was established in India on 1 January 1979 by with a mandate to “identify the socially or educationally backward classes” of India. It was headed by the late B.P. Mandal an Indian parliamentarian, to consider the question of reservations for people to redress caste discrimination, and used eleven social, economic, and educational indicators to determine backwardness.


The commission estimated that 52% of the total population of India (excluding SCs and STs), belonging to 3,743 different castes and communities, were ‘backward’.

Recommendations of Mandal commission-

  1. A roster system should be prepared for the backward classes on the pattern of that for the SCs and STs.
  2. Reservations to be made in PSUs, banks, private sector undertakings receiving government grants, colleges and universities
  3. Reservation of 27% public sector and government jobs for OBCs for those who do not qualify on merit.
  4. Reservation of 27% for promotions at all levels for OBCs in public service.
  5. The reserved quota, if unfilled, should be carried forward for a period of 3 years and dereserved after that.
  6. Age relaxation for OBCs to be the same as that for SCs and STs.
  7. The government to make the necessary legal provisions to implement these recommendations.


Positive impact

  • Provision of employment opportunity for ‘backward classes’ improved the economic condition of ‘backward classes’.
  • Enabled the community to have a better socio-political representation. • Because of reservations in jobs on the basis of caste, the backwards now have an identity as a composite pressure group.
  • Reservations will also achieve social egalitarianism by breaking the psychological barriers of the backwards by bringing them into positions of power in the Government.
  • The scheme is necessary because it gives the backwards a sense of being part of governance – the system –  and compensates for generations of discrimination.
  • Because backwards have been deprived for ages on the basis of their caste, now they should be provided facilities on the same basis. That is why we need representation in the Government on a caste basis, where wealth and respect go hand in hand. These reservations are not for the economic good, but to link backwards with the state

Negative impact

  • The implementation of the report providing reservation to the backward classes further deepen the class divide between upper and lower class.
  • This may lead to an Orwellian situation where some castes will be more equal than others. It will strengthen the caste-system because genetic heritage will become the basis for discrimination. Caste-based quotas will lay down that privileges should be extended to the groups and not to the individuals.
  • This lowered the importance of merit in securing job by emphasizing more on class reservation.
  • It may unleash a more-backward-than-thou race among various castes for the limited spoils, lead to corruption in the certification of castes, and raise expectations. 
  • The already intense competition gets worsened when caste becomes the basis for selection. Thus it will lead to inter-caste rivalries. Since the new policy does not consider all castes equal, inequalities within the government departments will increase.
  • Politics based on caste and region became more prominent. Eg Jat reservation agitation.
  • it led to entrenchment and institutionalization of caste as an important determinant in India’s socio-politico structure and thus impacting every aspect of life, which is inherently against equality and creates fissures in society.


 A modern democratic state recognises the necessity of preferential treatment to the disadvantaged. But if done on the basis of whole caste-groups, it will be holding responsible the present generation for the follies of its previous generation. Thus Mandal commission decision had chequered outcomes, although reservation is based on principle of positive discrimination and affirmative action, its misuse will dilute its utility

Print Friendly, PDF & Email