News & Events

Faculty Seminar | Economic Reservations: Ideal and Reality


Conference Hall, Ground Floor, New Academic Block


Wednesday, December 6, 2023, 3:45 pm

In this week’s faculty seminar, Dr. Bastian Steuwer will present his paper titled “Economic Reservations: Ideal and Reality” on Wednesday, 6 December 2023. Prof. Arun Thiruvengadam will be the discussant.


To which extent should economic criteria be relevant for reservation policies? The 103rd Amendment to the Constitution paved the way for reservations for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS). The Supreme Court upheld the amendment as valid in Janhit Abhiyan v. Union of India. The amendment was seen as a hallmark moment in Indian politics. Critics saw it as a blow against anti-caste politics, supporters welcomed its addition to India’s affirmative action program. I want to suggest that there are two separate questions on economic reservations. One is the debate on the EWS quota and the reality of EWS reservations embodied in the 103rd Amendment. Another is on the ideal of economic reservations. My argument defends the ideal of economic reservations but is deeply critical of EWS reservations. The EWS quota is a perversion of an otherwise sensible idea.

About the Speaker

Dr. Bastian Steuwer is an Assistant Professor of Politics at Ashoka University. He works on moral, political, and legal philosophy. His current work focuses on equality, discrimination, and distributive justice.