Equal opportunity is a stipulation that all people should be treated similarly, unhampered by artificial barriers or prejudices or preferences, except when particular distinctions can be explicitly justified. The aim according to this often complex and contested concept is that important jobs should go to those “most qualified” – persons most likely to perform ably in a given task – and not go to persons for arbitrary or irrelevant reasons, such as circumstances of birth, upbringing, friendship ties to whoever is in power, religion, sex, ethnicity, race, caste,or involuntary personal attributes such as disability, age, gender, or sexual orientation. Chances for advancement should be open to everybody interested such that they have “an equal chance to compete within the framework of goals and the structure of rules established.” The idea is to remove arbitrariness from the selection process and base it on some “pre-agreed basis offairness, with the assessment process being related to the type of position,” and emphasizing procedural and legal means. Individuals should succeed or fail based on their own efforts and not extraneous circumstances such as having well-connected parents. It is opposed to nepotism and plays a role in whether a social structure is seen as legitimate.
Equality is a democratic ideal and in this age of democracy, it is the sine qua non of a democratic govt. The history of mankind is the history of equality and liberty. Throughout the nook and corner of the world the march of equality is received with cheers. Equality literally means a levelling process whereby the difference between the rich and the poor can be minimised. Equality is of different types. From the beginning of human civilization and the quest for knowledge, the political philosophers have tried to analyse this concept. Legal Equality or Civil Equality -It means that all are equal in the eyes of law and there is rule of law. It also means equal opportunity must be provided by law to all without any discrimination. All persons must be subjected to same civil law and without this democracy will be a theo­retical absurdity.Secondly, Social Equality :It means that all citizens in a society must be treated at par with each other and there will be no discriminatory treatment on the ground of race, sex, religion, education, caste etc. The Preamble of our Constitution aims at social equality and the directive principles of state policy further strengthens our cherished ambition. Thirdly,Political Equality-it is the nerve-centre of a demo­cratic polity. Democracy emerged and thrives on this principle. It means that all the people must be provided with equal right in the field of vot­ing, contesting and holding public offices. The highest office of the land is within the reach of a common man in the street.Fouthly,Economic Equality-It means that wealth should be enjoyed by all equally. Last but not the least, National Equality –it means that all the nations of the world are equal. With the growth of international outlook the idea of 'one world one state' has been put forth by some writers to save this world from atomic warfare.