Mandal Commission – UPSC GS1

Critically comment on the immediate and long-term consequences of the decision to implement recommendations made by Mandal Commission on 7th August 1990. (200 Words)

The decision to implement the recommendations of Mandal commission was taken by V.P Singh government which implied that reservation in government jobs and educational institutes could be given on the basis of caste.
The short terms consequence of such a decision was widespread nationwide agitation against the policy which was considered anti-merit and a part of vote bank politics. Subsequently with the ruling of supreme court granting reservation on caste basis constitutional sanction, certain long term consequences emerged which were both positive and negative. It positively resulted in the emancipation of socially and educationally backward sections of society (OBCs) by increasing their representation in government jobs and educational institutes.
The biggest negative fallout of such a policy was politicization of caste for garnering votes by different political parties, the recent Jat reservation issue which was nullified by Supreme court is a case in point.
Also 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.
Thus Mandal commission decision had chequered outcomes, although reservation is based on principle of positive discrimination and affirmative action, its misuse has diluted its utility.
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The Mandal Commission was established in India in 1979 by the Janata Party government under Prime Minister Morarji Desai with a mandate to “identify the socially or educationally backward.