It is pretty evident, that this decision by the Indian Government, (yes, the guys you and I voted for) to increas reservation has multiple reasons, the most evident being vote-bank politics. Which politician, in a power-hungry country like ours, in which only numbers matter, wouldn't want the vote of nearly 77% of the country's population. Sagaro makes a couple of critical points, he says that the backward classes in question have not had a comfortable life like most of the general quota students and have had to work and study simultaneously in state run corporation schools. Agreed. They probably do deserve help from the government. I don't think a lot of us are against the idea of reservation per-se. Its the way its being/ going to be implemented now which concerns us!
From personal experience, I can say that it does hurt when you see a student, one that has studied with you all through school, been a very bright student, scoring lesser marks than you in one of the entrance tests ( and by lesser, I mean, a good 10 percentile points lesser) getting into an IIM, easily the country's best and most prestigious business school. This, when other classmates of yours have to slog and be disappointed in the end, because their seat has been taken by someone else. Is this Fair?? Is it fair that, in an educational institution of international repute (IIT, IIM, NLS, NALSAR, AIIMS etc..), you have a complete class of students, half of them entering via the back-door so as to say?? An argument that has been put forth by the guys who have used the quota system is that they compete against the general quota guys once they have been admitted. If that is what you want, why don't you compete against the general quota guys for the admission. If you're good enough to compete later, you must be good enough to compete now.
On NDTV, the other day, I saw a medic saying that he was from a poor family and din't have enough money to attend coaching classes to prepare for entrance tests. So, he took advantage of the quota system and now is a doctor. Fair play and well done to him !! These are the kind of people the government needs to be taking care of, providing them with assistance to prepare for these tests, maybe provide them good education at the primary and secondary school level, rather than at the graduate level.
Reservations have worked wonderfully in India. In IITs people tell me how these SC/ST guys at the first year are shy and aren’t very sociable, but by four years they are better off and even overtake these FC guys.
I don't necessarily agree with this. The aim of these institutions is to produce good engineers. Developing personalities is something that is upto an individual and happens along the way. There have been a lot of cases where these reserved students haven't been able to cope up with the general category students simply because they haven't got the kind of scores that most of their classmates have obtained in the JEE exam. Meaning, the kind of foundation that the others have is lacking somewhat in some of these students. It's not their fault mind you!! It's the system's fault. A system that says, "Ok, a seat is reserved for you, you don't have to work as hard as the rest, IIT mil jayega!!." Is this the kind of students that a premier institute like the IIT needs?? Remember, the IIT's are branded as the best engineering college in the country and brand IIT has a huge impact all over the world.
Increasing seats is not an option either. Lot of logistics and admin related problem crop up, like increasing classrooms, faculty and hostel facilities. This is not a feasible option, not for a while now atleast.. Also, in a country like ours, getting a OBC certificate is not that hard a job!! Or so, I am told!! :)
So, what is the solution?? Possibly a middle path!! Provide monetary assistance to these students, empower them at an early stage, so that, by the time they reach class 12 or so, they would not require to use reservation and compete with the general category students!!! This, in all likelihood, seems like the most plausible way out of this situation for now!! Though, knowing the government and the way politicians think, one never knows!!