I) This issue was debated even before independence and the
British govt. had introduced ‘separate electorates’ which meant that for
electing a representative from a particular community, only those voters would
be eligible who belong to that community.
ii) Many members expressed a fear so it was decided to adopt
the system of reserved constituencies where all voters in a constituency are
eligible to vote but the candidates must belong to only a particular community
or social section for which the seat is reserved.
iii) There are certain social groups which may be spread
across the country. In a particular constituency, their numbers may not be
sufficient to be able to influence a victory of a candidate however taken
across the country they are a significantly size-able group.
iv) This provision was made initially for a period of 10
years and as a result of successive constitutional amendments has been extended
up to 2020.
v) The Parliament can take a decision to further extend it,
when the period of reservation expires.
vi) The number of seats reserved for both of these groups
is in proportion to their share in the population of India. Of the 543 elected
seats in the Lok Sabha, 84 are reserved for Scheduled Castes and 47 are
reserved for Scheduled Tribes (as on 1 September 2012).