(A) Constitutional Provisions:
Following are important constitutional provision which aim to bring positive discrimination in favor of under privileged.
Article 14: The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
Article 15: It refers to prohibition of discrimination on ground of religion, race, castes, sex or place of birth or any of them.
Article 16: It gives the guarantee of equal opportunity in matters of public employment. Article 16(1) & 16(2) have laid down a general rule that there shall be equal opportunity for all citizens and thus emphasises on universality of Indian Citizenship.
Article 17: Abolition of Untouchability. Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden The enforcement of any disability arising out of Untouchability shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.
Article 19 (1)
All citizens shall have the right;
(a) to freedom of speech and expression;
(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;
(c) to form associations or unions;
(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;
(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India;
(g) to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation,
trade or business.
Article 23: Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.
Article 24: Prohibition of employment of children in factories, etc. No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
Article 45: Provision for free and compulsory education for children. The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years
Article 46 : Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections.
Article 330: (1) Seats shall be reserved in the House of the People for:
(a) the Scheduled Castes;
(b) the Scheduled Tribes
Article 334 : Reservation of seats and special representation to cease after forty years.
Article 335: Claims of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to services and posts.
Article 338: National Commission for the Scheduled Castes
Article 338A: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. (By 89th constitutional amendment, 2004)
Article 338B: National Commission for Backward Classes (formed in 1993 by an executive order, 123rd constitutional amendment bill 2018 and 102nd amendment in constitution to made it a constitutional body)
Here ends out Part I of the series. In next part we will look into various other provisions such as made by various planning commission and schemes available for underprivileged section of the society.