What steps have been taken by the government to eradicate untouchability?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Steps taken by the Government to eradicate untouchability include the introduction of the Untouchability Act. The Untouchability (Offences) Act was introduced in 1955, by the Government to eradicate untouchability. It was passed by the Government of India to end all caste-based prejudices. The government instituted the quota system, meaning it set aside Dalit seats in government offices and educational institutions to end caste-based discrimination.

Steps Taken by Government to Eradicate Untouchability

The government has taken the following actions to end untouchability:

  • This practice is prohibited by Article 17 of the Indian Constitution. Any harm resulting from untouchability is enforced, which is illegal and subject to legal penalties.
  • Untouchability is explicitly forbidden by the Directive Principles of State Policy laid down in the Indian Constitution.
  • Exceptions have been made for people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in many areas of public life.
  • These include reserving seats in state and federal legislatures (state legislatures, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha), reserving posts in the public sector, including jobs in all departments, and reserving seats in educational institutions.

Untouchability Act 1955

The Prevention of Caste Disabilities Act, of 1850 prohibited the deprivation of citizenship rights on the basis of a person’s choice of religion or caste only. Untouchability was abolished by the Constitution (Article 17), which means that no one can stop Dalits from getting an education, going to temples, using public facilities, etc.

  • Additionally, it shows that a democratic government will not accept the practice of untouchability as it is wrong. Untouchability is actually an offense that can now be punished.
  • Legal laws punishing acts of violence or humiliation against Dalits and Adivasis were updated and enhanced by the Prevention of Atrocities Act of 1989.
  • According to Article 15 of the Constitution, no citizen of India should be discriminated against on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.
  • The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was established to look into, monitor, and evaluate any issue relating to the protection of the provisions of the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution.

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