Active Stocks
Mon Dec 04 2023 15:47:26
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 212.9 1.21%
  1. Reliance Industries share price
  2. 2,421 1.15%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 594.65 3.99%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,609.05 3.44%
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 130.95 0.77%
Business News/ Politics / News/  What's delimitation exercise and why it'd delay implementation of women's reservation?
Back Back

What's delimitation exercise and why it'd delay implementation of women's reservation?

The Women's Reservation Bill, which provides 33% reservation for women in elections, has been passed by Parliament. However, it may not come into effect before the 2029 Lok Sabha election due to the need for a delimitation exercise and the Census. Here's why

PM Narendra Modi being greeted by women BJP workers during the 'Nari Shakti Vandan-Abhinandan Karyakram', a day after Parliament passed the women's reservation bill (PTI)Premium
PM Narendra Modi being greeted by women BJP workers during the 'Nari Shakti Vandan-Abhinandan Karyakram', a day after Parliament passed the women's reservation bill (PTI)

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eigth Amendment) Bill, 2023 – which provides 33 per cent reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and the Assembly constituencies across the country – has been passed by Parliament. While the Central government has been hailed for the passage of the Bill which paves way for the women to enter politics, the Opposition has pointed out that it may yet take years for the Bill to come into effect.

In simple words, the reservation for women may not become effective before the 2029 Lok Sabha election. Why? The Women's Reservation Bill says so…

What does the Bill say about women's reservation?

Article 334A of the Women's Reservation Bill says “.…provisions of the Constitution relating to the reservation of seats for women in the House of the People, the Legislative Assembly of a State and the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi shall come into effect after an exercise of delimitation is undertaken for this purpose after the relevant figures for the first census taken after commencement of the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Amendment) Act, 2023 have been published…."

Immediate implementation of women's reservation bill is illegal. Here's why

The effectiveness of the Women's Reservation Bill is dependent on two processes – the delimitation exercise and the Census.

What is delimitation exercise and why is it needed?

Delimitation literally means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country, according to the Election Commission of India (ECI). In simple words, delimitation redraws the boundaries of Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies resulting in an increase in the number of constituencies according to the latest population. The delimitation exercise would be carried out on the basis of the Census. The Bill comes into effect when both these processes are carried out.

This is done for every state so that a balance is achieved between the number of constituencies and the population; to provide equal representation to a segment of the population; to designate a number of seats for the reserved categories – now women.

The Delimitation Commission's responsibility is to ascertain the demarcation of constituencies in such a manner that the population within each seat or constituency is equal – to achieve a balance and provide equal representation. The Commission is also tasked to do the same for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).

In India, the delimitation exercise has been carried out only four times – “in 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952; in 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962; in 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972; and in 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002." And the Census 2021 was deferred due to Covid-19.

During the 2002 delimitation exercise, the number of Lok Sabha constituencies was frozen at 543 until 2026.

Now that the Lok Sabha election 2024 is only months away, the Women's Reservation Bill can potentially only be enacted before the 2029 general elections, depending on the completion of a delimitation process aligned with the Census report.

The Opposition, however, says the caste census and delimitation are not required for implementing the Women’s Reservation Bill and it should come into force soon after it is passed by Parliament.

Why is Tamil Nadu against the delimitation process?

Tamil Nadu hasn't quite welcomed the delimitation exercise. Chief Minister MK Stalin has demanded that the Centre assure the people of Tamil Nadu and the whole of South India that the delimitation exercise would do no harm to the states that have managed to control their population.

MK Stalin believes the delimitation process would cut down the political representation of the southern state in front of the states that have a larger population.

“Delimitation is like a Sword of Damocles hanging over the head of Tamil Nadu and south India. The political conspiracy to lower the political representation of South India must be outmanoeuvred," MK Stalin said.


Milestone Alert!
Livemint tops charts as the fastest growing news website in the world 🌏 Click here to know more.

Catch all the Elections News, Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less
Updated: 17 Oct 2023, 04:27 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App