Article 16 – Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment
(1) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State,
(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State.
(3) Nothing in this Article shall prevent Parliament from making any law prescribing, in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office [under the Government of, or any local or other authority within, a State or Union territory, any requirement as to residence within that State or Union territory] prior to such employment or appointment.
(4) Nothing in this Article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State.
(5) Nothing in this Article shall affect the operation of any law which provides that the incumbent of an office in connection with the affairs of any religious or denominational institution or any member of the governing body thereof shall be a person professing a particular religion or belonging to a particular denomination.
There are three exceptions to this general rule of equality of opportunity in public employment:
1. Parliament can prescribe residence as a condition for certain employment or appointment in a state or union territory or local authority or other authority.
2. The State can provide for reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class that is not adequately represented in the state services.
3. A law can provide that the incumbent of an office related to religious or denominational institution or a member of its governing body should belong to the particular religion or denomination.