MY STORY: I Gave up Reservation in a Competitive Exam. And It Made Me Proud.

Dinchengfa Boruah comes from OBC background in Assam. She has a caste certificate, but took a decision not to use it for her civil services exam. This is her story.

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Dinchengfa Boruah comes from OBC background in Assam. She has a caste certificate, but took a decision not to use it for her civil services exam. This is her story.

I believe one of the main hindrances to the growth of India is the differences that the countrymen have based on religion, region or caste. We forget that there is only one true identity – the identity of that of a human being. Everything else comes after that – your religion, your caste or your place of origin.

I am not going to speak anything for or against the current system of reservation but personally I don’t think I need reservation.


I believe in a reservation system based on economic condition. Because unlike us, poverty does not discriminate based on religion, region or caste. I feel bad when a boy from a BPL family without any facilities scores 80 out of 100, yet cannot qualify because he belongs to open category and on the other hand a boy from a well to do family with all facilities like coaching and home tutor scores 60 out of 100 and still qualifies because he belongs to a reserved category.

So when the time came to apply for the biggest exam of my life I was going to write, I chose not to submit my Other Backward Class (OBC) certificate hoping this would be beneficial to someone deserving. This was for the Combined Competitive Examination conducted by Assam Public Service Commission. Unlike UPSC, the concept of Non-Creamy Layer does not apply here and regardless of your economic background, you are eligible for reservation.

The people at the counter were not ready to accept my examination form without my certificate and I had to try really hard to make them believe that I do not want reservation.


At the personal interview, the board members were equally surprised at my decision. I knew this step of mine had brought down my chances to get into civil service but I was not regretting it. My family did not know about my decision of giving up reservation but when I told them about it, although they had this dream of seeing me as a public servant, they supported my decision.

When the results came, I heard my name on TV because I had secured second rank in the final list. I got through merit and not through reservation but it did not really matter because I had already said “No” to reservation.

Instead of waiting for policies to change, if those of us, who can give up reservation, willingly give it up, I think things will surely change for better. You always have a choice to follow the routine or to do what you feel is right. Giving up reservation has not really changed anything in my life but it has given me this constant feeling of pride for choosing what I feel is right.

(Written by Dinchengfa Boruah)

The views expressed in the article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of The Better India.

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