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Central Government of India formed the second commission to uplift the backward classes through establishing the Mandal Commission in 1979 when the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai and his parliamentary committee felt need for it to look into the key issues by identifying the educationally and socially backward classes.
About Mandal Commission
With the establishment of second Mandal Commission it was asked by Government to find best measures to uplift backward class masses. The then parliamentarian Bindheshwari Prasad Mandal was assigned the role to head this Commission.
Mandal Commission was assigned the duties to evaluate and think over the major question of considering seat reservations or quotas for those masses from the Indian society who were discriminated upon on the base of caste, creed or social backwardness. This Commission was established to find and suggest the solutions for discriminations of all kinds from social to economic and educational levels.
Full-fledged report of the Mandal Commission was submitted to Central Government after a year of formation in 1980 with multiple suggestions to uplift the backward sections of the society.
- Commission suggested for an affirmative action practice under the law to uplift people from lower castes commonly denoted with OBCs, Scheduled Castes & Tribes
- An advice came for the people of backward sections to enjoy exclusive access to particular portion of jobs in the government sector including in educational institutions
- This Commission also recommended for changes in quota system with the step to increase it to 49.5% from the existing 27%
- It suggested strong measures for people of lower strata to get mobilized for the better power share on caste lines and for the active participation in the democratic system for their political empowerment
Implementation of Recommendations
Decision of the Central Government led by the then Prime Minister, Morarji Desai to form second Commission in 1978 was solely under Indian constitution’s mandate through Article 340 for Articles 15 and 16 purposes to uplift the backward section of Indian society to the maximum extent. Officially declared on January 01, 1979 by the then president this Commission became famous as Mandal Commission which had been chaired by parliamentarian B.P. Mandal.
The Commission worked extensively on the issued defined for evaluation and steps to take from finding the key criteria for identification of OBC sections and or those having been deprived from several important rights. Measures this Commission adopted and recommended thereafter included:-
- Commission adopted multiple methods as well as techniques for the data collection purpose and gathering all sorts of evidences
- Elven major criteria was adopted with the generalized grouping under three that were named social, educational and economic for OBC identification
Mandal Commission applied all measures needed to generate the report about the condition of backward classes masses in the country and to suggest measure which could streamline them on the national levels. Those depending solely on the manual labor for survival and large chunk of masses whose children in 5–15 age group had never attended school due to poverty or other related reasons were included for that purpose.
Other aspects were also taken into account to determine the factors including the one major cause named economic which is crucial for society’s backward or forward approach. Some more factors which came into notice of this Commission for the development were as follows:-
- Keep those under OBC category who live in the dilapidated kuccha houses
- Those having no sources of drinking water and forced to go half kilometer or more for that to be included in the socially deprived group
Implementation of Recommendations
With the submission of Mandal Commission report and the government making it a point to implement recommendations on national and state levels, big impact was felt on all fronts. Economic, social and educational indicators for the backwardness of Indian society finally left impeccable impact on it and the attempts taken for such key purposes directly affected. It was well understood that both social and educational backwardness had causal relation with economic backwardness hence strong measures were suggested to resolve such plaguing factors.
Working & Key Findings
Mandal Commission gave its report with detailed observation that 54% of the whole population without adding SCs and STs represented 3,743 castes or communities and their social, economic and educational criteria kept them in backward category. As there were no caste-wise population figure available at the time of research and evaluation, the Mandal Commission made 1931 census data a base for the OBC calculation. The determination was also on the basis of religious representation from Hindu, Muslims and rest religious groups.
Submission of Mandal Commission report in December 1980 revealed many facets of Indian society and its actual condition in terms of poverty and backwardness levels. The report clearly indicated that OBC represented large chunk of population and their conditions were national issue which required proper solution to remove the mass poverty from the country.
Although all recommendations of Mandal Commission haven’t been implemented yet but most of them are already in the implementation phase and whose results are seen on various stages. Recommendation of this Commission for reservation in the government services for OBC's got implemented in 1993 while reservations in the Higher educational institutes was considered for implementation in 2008 itself.
Criticism & Exclusions
Mandal Commission also came under criticism and there is still many differences of opinion on many issues and factors that were associated with its recommendations.