The Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2019. The bill has a provision to continue the reservation of seats for the SC/ST for another 10 years, till January 25, 2030.
- Under Article 334, these communities were given reservation in the legislature for 70 years, till January 25, 2020.
- Parliament has 79 and 40 seats set aside for SCs and STs, respectively.
- In-state assemblies across India, there are 614 SC members and 554 ST members.
- Article 334 of the Constitution had originally required the reservation of elected seats to cease in 1960, but this was extended to 1970 by the 8th Amendment.
- The period of reservation was extended to 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010 by the 23rd, 45th, 62nd, and 79th Amendments respectively.
Benefits of the ST/SC quota in legislatures:
- It gives an opportunity for equal representation.
- The parliamentary/state legislative Constituency is reserved as per the presence of a majority of the ST or SC population.
- To build a new political leadership of the ST/SC communities.
- It socially empowers marginalized society.
- The STs/SCs specific issues will get onboard to the parliamentary discussion. Eg. The passing of The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation is a testimony to this.
- The reservation given to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and the Anglo-Indian community for the past 70 years is to end on January 25, 2020.
- A similar reservation in the form of “nomination” for the Anglo-Indian community in Lok Sabha and state assemblies is not being extended.
Also read: Creamy Layer: The Sc/St Reservation