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Delimitation Exercise

  • Recently, the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam (Constitution Amendment Bill) 2023, which provides 33% reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, was passed in Lok Sabha and is expected to be cleared by Rajya Sabha.
  • Implementation of the reservation is contingent on a delimitation exercise and a Census.

About Delimitation

  • Delimitation is the process of redrawing parliamentary and assembly constituencies based on the latest population data.
  • The 2021 Census will be the basis for the delimitation exercise, and 33% of the increased constituencies will be reserved for women in future elections.
  • The earliest the women’s reservation could take effect in Lok Sabha is the 2029 elections.
  • Delimitation ensures equitable representation and guards against gerrymandering.
  • Delimitation is mandated by the Constitution, with the last exercise in 2002.
  • The next delimitation should occur based on the first Census after 2026, but due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it could happen based on the delayed 2021 Census.
  • Delimitation has been a political hot topic due to changes in seat distribution among states.
  • The freeze on the number of parliamentary seats at 543 since the 1970s is a result of political concerns and amendments like the 42nd and 91st Amendments to the Constitution.
    • The freeze was justified as a measure to promote family planning, with the assumption that by 2026, population growth would level off.

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