Triple Test Survey on Reservation

The Allahabad High Court had ordered the Uttar Pradesh Government to conduct urban local body elections without the OBC reservations as the “triple test” requirement for the quota has not been fulfilled. The state government has recently constituted a commission to conduct the tripe test survey in the urban local bodies.

What is a triple test survey?

The Supreme Court put forth the triple test in the case Vikas Kishanrao Gawali vs. State of Maharashtra and others on March 2, 2021. It involves the government implementing three tasks to finalize the reservation to the OBCs in the local bodies. These tasks are:

  1. Constitute a dedicated commission to conduct a rigorous empirical study into the nature and implications of the backwardness in local bodies
  2. To specify the proportion of reservation required in local bodies based on the commission’s recommendations
  3. To ensure that the reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs together do not surpass the aggregate of 50 percent of the total seats.

Why is triple survey used instead of rapid survey?

In 2017, the Uttar Pradesh government conducted a rapid survey to determine the OBC population. This survey was conducted in each municipality, and based on its result, seats were reserved in proportion to the OBC population in the respective constituency.

The rapid survey only focuses on the headcount of the OBC population. According to the Allahabad High Court, granting reservations based on the population alone does not consider the backwardness and the political representation of a class or a group.

Disadvantages faced by a community in accessing education and job opportunities cannot be equated with the disadvantages in the area of political representation. This is because increasing participation in local self-government ensures immediate overall empowerment of an underrepresented community to which an elected representative belongs. Whereas, increasing access to education and jobs ensures only the socio-economic upliftment of individuals.



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