Monday, April 10, 2006

Reservation in Premier institutes

Its quite sometime that debate is active over ‘reservation for OBC in premier institutes’. If we look at opinion polls by different media we can see that, majority condemns this movement by government very strongly. HRD minister Mr. Arjun singh took a safer side saying PMO is very well aware of the decision and it’s from there, not me who is responsible for this. We very well understand your concerns Mr. Minister. A clear sign we can see at present is Govt. is planning go ahead with the decision.

Is this reservation funda, a big non sense? I don’t think so. A less privileged class has to come up; they need exposure or opportunity for that. That was the thought behind it, when Dr. Ambedkar proposed this concept. Its quite a long time after independence now, but still reservation system is very much alive. It clearly tells you that, the idea is not working out very well or ‘Politicians’ are not dare to stop this being afraid of the majority(read vote bank) in the country.

Now let’s come more close to premier institutes. Getting into IITs/IIMs is not kids play. You gotta be really competitative. But to be competitive you need to get exposure that’s how people raise their bar. People who have got strong basic education and good exposure really dominate when it comes to JEE or CAT. Are we giving this kinda strong foundation or exposure in Villages? An Absolute strong NO. If we don’t give them enough opportunity how will they come up? Concept of reservation holds good here. One of my friend who had done his studies till 12 Th in a remote village got admission to a good engg. college in Kerala thru OBC quota. You belive it or not, he stood top through out engg.and secured first rank in university. Is it not a very valid example for ‘If you are giving opportunity to people’ they come up really well? I know, there are people raising their eye brows saying this is one odd case. Now look at Globalization arena, if we don’t have trade regulations and rules in India, will not this experienced foreign big players swallow our system. Regulation/reservation is a sensible concept to an extent.

What is happening to our IIT/IIM grads, it’s true that good education is accessible thru good money from basic education till 10+2. They are the front runners for IIT/IIMs, no doubt about that. The same money factor or better opportunites is leading them to go abroad and settle down there. Who can stop this? No one. I think to an extent this can be stopped by giving opportunity to less privilaged. Another concern is about the quality or the brand of Premier school grads if best students are not admitted. Definitely a big concern, if you implement reservation, how to take care of this is a genuine concern. A very valid threshold cut off for the reserved category is my answer.

Another argument against reservation, there are well off people still getting the benefit of reservation. I agree to that, definitely some quality measures are to be taken at least for the premier institutes. Another concern of loosing out deserved candidates over reserved ones; it’s the cost of not having well placed and efficient basic education system.

Some proposals for implementation…

Best solution: Ensure the access to quality education for all class of people as early as from basic education and scrap the reservation system for premier institutes. Scrap the system where more you pay more you get in basic education system. Easy said than done, a big thought and movement need to be done for this.

Some practical solutions…

1. Increase the number of premier institutes
2. Decrease the percentage of reservation
3. Merge the seats of reserved category to general list, if students do not meet threshold criteria.

Last but not the least, a request to the government. Look at the data of post independence. See, where this reservation system is leading us. We believe in empowered nation, where people have equal access to basic facilities and equal opportunities. Let the best people come out and lead us from the front. Shed these petty tricks for keeping the vote bank stable. Convince people what is the need of going ahead with the reservation system. No hide and seek please….