By examining the history and evolution of the equality provisions in the Constitution of India, This Seat is Reserved seeks to shed light on the emotionally charged, decades-old debate concerning caste-based reservations in India. Its objective is to introduce the reader to the law and history of quotas in the country. In this book Abhinav traces how groups eligible for reservations were identified and defined: how the terms 'depressed classes' and 'backward classes' were used in British India and how they evolved into the constitutional concepts of 'Scheduled Castes' (SC), 'Scheduled Tribes' (ST), and 'Other Backward Classes' (OBC). It looks at how the Supreme Court invented tests to impose limits on quotas in the country - the rule that no more than 50% of the available seats or positions can be reserved, the principle that the 'creamy layer' must not receive the benefit of quotas, the requirement that governments must have "quantifiable data" before providing certain kinds of reservations. It examines the intellectual debates that have taken place on these questions over the course of India's history in the Constituent Assembly, the Supreme Court and Parliament. For instance: are reservations an exception to the principle of equality of opportunity? Do quotas in government service, especially in promotions, undermine efficiency? Can 'merit' really be defined neutrally and do marks in board exams or entrance exams really demonstrate a student's intelligence? Thought-provoking, argumentative and comprehensive, this book will interest history enthusiasts and general readers.