Sumitra Mahajan stressed on the need to follow BR Ambedkar (File)
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan today questioned affirmative action in government jobs and educational institutes, saying BR Ambedkar, who drafted the constitution, had introduced the system of reservation for a decade to bring social harmony, but the facility is extended every 10 years, which is a "shortcoming".
"The idea of Ambedkarji was to bring social harmony by introducing reservation for 10 years. But what we do is to extend the reservation every 10 years. There is a shortcoming," Ms Mahajan said at three-day 'Lok Manthan' programme in Jharkhand's capital.
"Will reservation bring welfare to the country?" she said. She stressed on the need to follow BR Ambedkar to bring social harmony in the society and country.
Earlier this year, the ruling BJP had been forced to vehemently defend its stance on reservation after opposition attacks that said the party was trying to scrap the decades-old system.
BJP chief Amit Shah had said in June that the reservation system and the 1989 Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act will remain in force till the party is in power.
India's reservation system dates back to 1950 when government jobs and seats in state-funded colleges were allocated to the so-called lower castes of Hindu society and tribal groups.
Supporters of quotas say they are necessary as the underprivileged castes have historically had fewer opportunities for decent education but critics say the move affects the quality of education and professional services.
With inputs from IANS