During a parliamentary debate last month, demands for a caste census and the removal of a 50% cap on reserved seats for central government jobs and admissions to central educational institutions took centre stage. The cap was breached in 2019, when an additional 10% quota came into place for India’s economically weaker sections (EWSs) on top of the already-existing 49.5%: 27% Other Backward Classes (OBCs), 15% Schedule Castes (SCs) and 7.5% Schedule Tribes (STs). In addition, various state governments in India also implement their own affirmative-action policies.

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