The political economy of reservations in public jobs in India

K.K. Upadhyaya (Department of Economics, Mizoram Campus, Aizawl, India)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Publication date: 1 July 1998


This article presents a problem situation for study of the vexed eco‐bureau‐political question of job reservation in public administration, public sector and government‐aided educational institutions. Such reservation in preference to the Union of India was augmented from 22.5 to 49.5 per cent in 1993. This was aimed at achieving “equity” causing distributive growth of the economy but growth itself may be thwarted by “efficiency” losses in public management. It could be that under a less equitous regime there is more growth so that the targeted protected groups end up with larger “entitlement”. The present dispensation gives larger “empowerment” in addition to extension of statutory representation to the “disadvantaged” and “deprived” groups in local‐level government. The article concludes with a review of the literature and some facts and data on the situation and basic conceptualization to clear the deck for research in the area which has been negligible and situate some hypotheses which may be demolished or proved.



Upadhyaya, K. (1998), "The political economy of reservations in public jobs in India ", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 25 No. 6/7/8, pp. 1049-1063.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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