States’ Prerogative to Provide 10% Reservation | 10 Jan 2020

Why in News

Recently, the Centre informed the Supreme Court that it would be the States’ prerogative to provide 10% economic reservation in government jobs and admission to educational institutions.

  • The State governments concerned are to decide whether or not to provide reservation to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in appointment to State government jobs and admission to State government educational institutions, as per provisions of the newly inserted Articles 15(6) and 16(6) by the Constitution 103rd Amendment Act, 2019.

Key Points

  • This comes as a response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that seeks the Supreme Court’s intervention to implement the 10% EWS quota in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka without disrupting the existing reservation framework, which covers the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Backward Classes (BC) and Most Backward Classes (MBC).
  • The 10% reservation prescribed by the Amendment Act is in addition to the existing reservation. It nowhere affects or infringes anybody’s fundamental rights to equality instead gives rights of equal participation and representation to the EWS.
  • Centre informed the Supreme Court that it has no role in deciding the reservation policy of any state government. The concerned state governments have to decide the reservation under Articles 15(6) and 16(6).


  • In 2019, SC issued a notice to the Centre on a PIL seeking direction to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to implement 10% quota in jobs and education for EWS as per the mandate of the 103rd Constitutional (Amendment) Act, 2019.
  • The petition contended that neither Tamil Nadu nor Karnataka had implemented this amendment.
    • It also highlighted that Tamil Nadu reserves 69% of its jobs and education seats for SCs, STs, BCs and MBCs, while the number stands at 70% in Karnataka.

Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019

  • It introduced economic reservation by amending Articles 15 and 16. It inserted Article 15 (6) and Article 16 (6) in the Constitution to allow reservation for the economically backward in the unreserved category.
  • It was enacted to promote the welfare of the poor not covered by the 50% reservation policy for SCs, STs and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC).
  • It enables both Centre and the states to provide reservation to the EWSs of society.
  • Since this is a central law on subjects (employment, education) in the concurrent list (subjects on which states and the central government both have jurisdiction), the state governments need to ratify it before adopting it locally.

Source: TH