[Excerpt] The concept of job reservation relies upon government intervention into the labor relations area in order to promote the rights of some particular portion of the population. The reasons for this intervention may come from diverse rationales but usually can be reduced to a political one. For example, after the miners’ riots of 1922 in South Africa, the government reserved certain jobs in the mining industry for whites only. In the United States, as a result of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was established to assist blacks and other minorities from discrimination through affirmative action programs.
Since independence, the government of India has also tried to promote interests of certain population groups in the employment area. This article will examine the historical background of the Indian situation, government actions in the employment area and reactions to the present situation.