Friday, April 14, 2006


Recently HRD ministry has proposed an additional reservation of 27% for OBC in higher institution like IITs and IIMs. That makes total 52.5% reservation as there is already 22.5% reservation for SC/ST. I don’t see any logic behind the proposal except banking upon OBC bank votes.

The proposal is supported by arguments like we want a social uplift, we want all the classes to excel equally in their life. Is it so? I completely disagree with the argument. In this way we are going to divide the society completely on the basis of caste. What are we going to gain having reservations in the high institutions when our primary and junior education is not enough strong. IITs & IIMs are kind of end days of education (For most of the students) and by providing reservation at this stage I don’t we are going anywhere. Take an example of climbing staircase if you reserve top 2-3 positions for some people and people are not able to pass even 2-3 staircases how are they going to reach at the top position. That means in this way ineligible candidate would be reaching at the top because you have some seats reserved for ‘particular type’. We should first make the foundation strong so that these types are equally competitive.
As said by JNU professor Dipankar Gupta on CNBC TV18 it ultimate it boils down to what how we wish to shape the idea of India. Is it going to be an India dominated by caste, or do we look at 'capacity building' of weaker sections of society? Do you want to see India divided purely on the basis of ‘Caste’? If you really want to empower weaker class then bring them above poverty line and remember there is difference between ‘Backward Class’ and ‘Weaker Class’.
I have seen lots of persons from a well to do family enjoying reservation just because they are labeled with some ‘ABC’ at the end of their name. Is it fair? I am an IIT Alumni and I have seen what happens really in IIT with these backward classes. Very few of them are able to come into mainstream of IIT and it is not because other people don’t let him come into mainstream but rather they themselves develop complex in themselves that they are enough capable and they have got admission into IIT because of reservation only. But this is not true. Everyone is equally capable of doing anything if they are provided with opportunities. And this opportunity can not be provided by means of reservation but by economic uplift.
It is being argued that most of the backward classes are poor but this is not true. The argument said is completely based on 60 year old data which says "Using 11 criteria , the Commission identified 3,743 caste groups as OBCs. Since population figures along caste lines were not available beyond 1931, the Commission used the 1931 census data to calculate the number of OBCs. The population of Hindu and non-Hindu OBCs worked out to about 52 per cent of the total population." (Data gathered by Rashmi bansal in her blog YouthCurry).

One my my friend gave a very good idea which I think is decent enough. If you really want to give reservation then include on more policy that only one generation will be given reservation. Any generation after that generation should not be eligible for reservations. Sounds good?

There is one more aspect of reservation brain drain as pointed on in editorial of ‘Times of India’. Students will tend to go abroad for higher studies if not USA then at least Europian or Asian universities. If student can take loan to study in IITs/IIMs then they can also afford to study at these colleges also. The view in the editorial was that in today’s world of Globalization it is good for India because ultimately wherever they go they will be ‘Indian’. I don’t agree with this argument. They will be Indian but when it comes for qualification they will be not be called alumnus of any Indian college but of some foreign college and it does matter. This will show that our education system is not good and due to which intelligent students are going abroad and making their mark. Yes that’s true. If equal opportunity of study will not provided there will be many eligible students who will not be able to get admission to IITs and IIMs.

Why don’t you let it be a fair competition where every one has equal probability to win? Do some thing at foundation level, like providing free education at primary & secondary level to poor class, so that they can be equally competitive.