Friday, May 19, 2006

Reservation ?? Really??

Read a post on Sagaro's blog on the reservation issue, and some of his points are worth mulling over.

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.

Sagaro says,
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!!



S said...

middle path is a solution. but to provide financial assistance to deserving students is a hard thing to do. as sagaro pointed out, it's not easy to identify the authenticity of the people claiming to be economically backward!! so a system needs to be developed for that too....and that's gonna take quite a while!!

when the reservation issue was hot news, i saw a couple of OBC guys on NDTV. believe it or not - these guys couldn't string together a coherent sentence in english!! i mean, if these are the kind of people who are gonna get into premier instis like IIT - on basis of reservations - wat happens to the brand?? to the respect it demands all over the world?? i shudder to speculate!!

and about the OBC certificates - CNN IBN did an exclusive on it. they actually showed how easy it was to get the certificate - fictitious name, address n all - for just a few thousand rupees!! :O

when it boils down to it, i think the backward castes in india have a helluva long way to go before they become fully developed!!

sagaro said...

"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."

After joining the college, both get ame facilities and therefore they can compete with the FC, but before addmission, this guy was in some corporation school and you were in some Vana Vani... dont tell em you derive pleasure in beating such a guy by 10 percentile.

"There have been a lot of cases where these reserved students haven't been able to cope up with the general category students"

I know so many FC guy in my class who have arrears. And what important here is 99 percetn who have arrears are management students. They cant compete with dote students cauze they didnt get good marks in the TNPCEE, now can we abolish management quota??? I know a few in our college, who were management students but did really great... Dont generalize such things. If you want to generalize BC guys fail max, then show me stats. dont chumma say.

I also agree primary schooling and monetry assistance must be provided at an early stage.

"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!"

Here is the problem with it. Reservations can be applied in many ways, one merit, only caste, caste and merit, only credit, merit and economy, only economy, do nothing.

Do nothing: 85% will suffer.

Economic+merit: the whole of FC minus “FC who are poor” will suffer. Only a few FC will have fun. And similarly a few BC who are rich wont enjoy, but 85% BC will enjoy it.

Merit: 85% population in India will suffer

Only Caste: The whole of Fc will suffer (Including the poor FC). The whole of BC including the rich BC will enjoy.

Caste+merit: A few FC will suffer. A few rich BC guys will enjoy.

And thats exactly why the govt. is opting for this system... its the least flawed system.

Abhi! said...

FYI, this person I was talking about was from Vana Vani and enjoyed the same facilities that I did.!! After this, why should this person walk into the IITs and IIMs when I had to slog my butt off?? Huh?? Do you think just because your ancestors were from backward and underpriveleged castes, you should get the benefits.. Reservations in today's changin world scenario are completely diff from what was envisioned in 1950 when the constitution was framed. That time, it was to give an advantage, now, its for the votes!!

About your second point, I am saying this from what I heard.. I don't have concrete facts. Agreed, in SVCE, some mgmt guys actually do well and the rest are pathetic. The entire system is flawed. Admissions shouldn't be based on bank accounts but on marks again!! I know mgmt guys from my class who don't even know their dote scores and who still are not even remotely strong in their fundamentals.. This, in the 8th semester is quite sad, don't you think !

You say reservation can be applied in so many ways.. and still, there is a least flawed method which the 'sarkar' wants to adopt!! Why ?? If its known before implementation that its flawed, then do away with it.. Find an alternate way to help these students!!

Right now, there is no justification in this country to reserve 50% seats to the OBC category. And seat increase is NOT an option!!

And dude, it does hurt, when a student scores so much lesser compared to you, but ends up in better institutions to you.. Makes you wanna question your own abilities!!!! Think about it!

Abhijit said...

sagaro said...

how many times do you want me to repeat its the minority case. One or ten guys from vana vani got in, so scrap the system...machan!

Well they (govt) know its flawed, its least flawed...but if they dont go for anything...i.e. do away with it... then read the option "do nothing". If they do nothing then 85 percent gets screwed. At least this way only some 10 percent is getting screwed.

Yes management is sad, but why the hell didnt you post about management quota should be abolished in your blog? Both management and OBC reservation quota suck, according to you... but you seem to only be thrashing the OBC reservation... does this mean you have some prejudice aginst OBC in some corner?

And for the millionth time, just becas a hand full of rich OBC guys got along with the rest of the deserving juntha doesnt mean you abolish the system... Ok I am talking tautologiers... but you are forsing me to ...cauze you beat around the same points again and again.

Ok you don't want merit+caste, tell me a better option that you think the govt. should follow...

Abhi! said...


If they (govt) don't do anything, why would 85% get screwed.. Till today, there have not been reservations for OBC in the premier instis.. How have the 85% population being screwed?? Why this reservation all of a sudden, that too in the highest hierarchial level??

Yes, Management quota sucks, I din't post because I was talking about the OBC quota only. I have no bias and really don't see how reservation is going to take the country forward..

If the govt wants to help the OBC students (who may have tremendous potential, I am not denying that), then they should do it without affecting the rest of the junta.. As I said, empower them and give them the quality that is expected of a student who aspires to get into IIT, IIM, AIIMS etc.. That way, everyone is happy, the OBC guy also has a satisfaction that he has not got in the easy way and has actually proven himself that he can compete with the rest of the open category seats.!!

Why are you again picking on caste.. Caste is a poor excuse dude.. Something that has been in India for so long that it now needs to GO!! No reservation, 100% open category seats.. Would be an option

Another option could is to open more instis (not increase seats), tht wil have seats only for OBC.. But, I don't think this is feasible

sagaro said...

You mean the govt. does nothing, and the 85 percent dont get effected. Machan, majority indians, are OBC/SC/St, an you might notice instis like IITs and IIMs and etc. are far from reach to them... only the FC (mostly) get in. Which means 15 percent of India keeps getting better and better, and the rest is still where they are. And thats exactly why 85 percent get screwed.

Dont think about yourself, think as a nation... we need to level up, we dont want one super primier group and one down trodden group...

"Yes, Management quota sucks, I din't post because I was talking about the OBC quota only. I have no bias and really don't see how reservation is going to take the country forward.."

The OBC rule came a few days back and you are protesting about it in your blog. The management has been here even before you started your blog. So you didnt find time in the past one year to protest about it. Kya re? you never felt so strong about mgmt students... why becasue all this while you ahve been studying with mgmt students. Similarly when peeps study with these OBC guys, they will also not feel strong about caste system and then caste system can be eliminated.

Machan, you telling me how easy its to get a fake caste certi. Its even more easy to get fake economic certi. So stop about identify people who are economically backward and support them...

"Why are you again picking on caste.. Caste is a poor excuse dude.. Something that has been in India for so long that it now needs to GO!! No reservation, 100% open category seats.. Would be an option

Another option could is to open more instis (not increase seats), tht wil have seats only for OBC.. But, I don't think this is feasible"

Caste is a poor excuse and then you give an idea with a college only for OBC. Nice arguement :p neways the point is already the society is shunning these people, in kerala they use different tumblers at tea shops for different castes, the only way it can go is not noticeing the difference, how? by having diversity in college, how? by having a proper ratio of all castes...

You cant have peace without war for peace, similarly you cant eliminate caste system, before we implement caste based reservation... and get peopel to gel out.

sagaro said...

You had said before:
"Do you think just because your ancestors were from backward and underpriveleged castes, you should get the benefits.."

Machan I belong to the forward caste... though my parent have fortunately brought me up to not notice the difference... unlike many.

Abhi! said...


Yes, I agree that we need to level out.. Is this method the right leveller.. No..

As you said, every coll that isn't state funded needs to raise money... Management seats is one way to do that. I would not mind management seats being given away on merit and no money - like SSN does.. SSN is emerging much better than SVCE.

Ultimately, looking at the bigger picture, what is the responsibility of a good government?? To uplift the society as a whole and all that..

Would compromising on student quality in top schools in India really help?? It might help a handful, those who use the reservation to study.. for the rest, they need to provide them with 2 meals a day , a means of livelihood and basic education till atleast 10.. Improve literacy and eliminate child labour and drop-outism.. Then talk about getting these guys seats at IIM and IIT and AIIMS and the like..

Ok, I agree I did contradict myself about tht caste thing.. When I was typing, a phone ccall interrupted me and hence, there was a break and I forgot what i wrote :P :P

And I just saw your other comment.. I din't mean YOU. I meant junta in general.. I know your bro da.. :)

sagaro said...

why not block a road for making all colleges funded by govt.? People blocked delhi - chandigarh highway so that reservations should be pulled out. But no one talks about abolishing private colleges... neways as you said, SSN managment by merit. Which is even sad. why? cause the guys who get in thro managment are rich, which means they did their schooling in some good place, had acces to the internet, had access to books and all they had to do was study, but still they scored a bit less and bought their way into a good college like SSN.

If a person can buy his way in, then a person can also take advantage of reservation and get in. period. In one case its dad's money, in another case its dad's caste.

Phone calls can interrupt flow of thought/secquence... but I dont think phone call had to do anything with a deadly idea like have a college to throw all the SC/ST/OBC in... It probably showed what you (me, and every other FC) wanted deep down? Not many FC want to study along with the backwards... Its a mental block: they are incapable, unsociable, mysterious, will fail even when given a seat and inferior to the extent that they might even steal your stuff... which is not true in most cases...

Well you got into an US univ. Why? becas they wanted diversity... I think the OBC deserve it....

Abhi! said...


Are you on g talk? if yes, add me..

Will reply there.. not on a public forum..
or gimme ur email

sagaro said...

Ok is this a conspiracy to abuse me privately... lol. I dont come in chat often (exams u see). Email is sagaro [at] Ok what ever, dont get personal :P

varalaxmi said...

Hey,just thought i would tell you this.
Now i'm NOT taking any sides b'cos of two,i fall under mbc category.two,i feel some kind of alternative system must come up.
So,here it goes.I went to my CET exam center.There i saw a girl who was very poorly dressed along with her brother i think.She ws standing near this gang of girls who obviously chose to show off thier command over english and trust me this poor girl was totally uneasy.She stood out in the crowd.And i bet she is a first generation literate.She must've surely studied in a corporation school only.
Now,who will identify her and help finance her education?
It's here that i feel reservation plays a big part.She'll probably make it to Anna Univ and in the process take up an FC's seat but i believe this isn't wrong.If she is gonna get good education,then she'll educate her kids and the legacy will pass on.
Just because she got thru due to reservation doesn't mean she doesn't deserve it na?

P.S.these are solely MY PERSONAL VIEWS and not meant to offend!

sagaro said...

Very true. Reservations has to stay.

varalaxmi said...

@ Sagaro:
Glad you agree!

mistyheavens said...

It is fair to lift up a section of society who needs the monetary assistance. How are we really helping by giving such a large chuck of seats to people who should have come up in the past 50 odd years. Moreover its grossly unfair to give a good 49% on the basis of a social structure that is being perpertuated intrinsically with this quota system...its another thing to get your vote bank...but your largest population between 25-40 will defintely have their say come playing the reservation game is akin to russian roulette..

தமிழ் சமத்துவம் said...











dooby said...

its time 2 bring in reservations for FC's!!

Memoryking said...

Read your blog.Liked it a lot.Here is mine
"You say, if a student knows a seat is reserved for him he is not going to work towards it. Ask yourself- If a person knows Education is subsidized for his kids, food items are subsidized for him, is he going to work? Isn’t it harming the Economy? Isn’t the highly subsidized education we avail a classic example of social injustice? "

Kaycee said...

Reservation in higher education? That surely is a compromise on merit. Let us not forget that they have had their reservation at primary & seconary school level. Buck up in those 12 years & stand on your own feet! Dont expect kushy kursi at every step of the way to the grave!

Let us not bring affordability/money into this - surely there are many in FC too who cant aspire for higher edu, for cost reason - that is a diff problem.

Even if one were to believe a vast majority of BC cant afford because they are poor, what we need is liberal schol & even fin assistance to the families that send their son/daughter to higher edu, so that those with potential are not discouraged from higher edu due family condition requiring them to 'earn'.

By continuing 'reservation' without any upper limit on amount of compromise on merit with respect to last candidate in the 'open' list (I would not call 'forward' - due vote bank politics the majority are not forward but pushed to significant backwardness) is a crime on merit.

Consider this. My son wanted to study Engg in DEL univ; after analysis of the college quality, subject choices, I advised him - write the entrance test, score at worst 800th rank, you shall get into one of the four good colleges, 2/3 subj choices in his order of preference. In comes the result day, he was declared rank 2540 in entrance exams. I was forced to abandon this path & took it as 'thats what he could do'. He was adamant & said, I should have got less than 500th rank, based on his own assessment of perf & over all score expected. So I dug into the results site & was horrified to find one 'privileged class' candidate declared rank 52, despite scoring quarter mark LESS than my son. C'mon that is fraud.

Like most of the parents of so called FC & the minority of those that have money, I decided to spend substantial sum as capitation fee & secure a seat in the second best coll in south. The boy went on to secure overall 'outstanding student' for ALL four years across all engg discipline comprising some 2000 students.

The power of merit was such that it had to be encouraged & thats what I did; he went on to secure 3 PG admits from 3 premier US univs one with full aid, the other two half & nil. Besides he secured admit in CAT, well past entrance & PI/GD in all 6 IIMs. He chose to do IIM & is on that path now.

I dont have any regrets for having bribed and secured a seat in higher edu for his BE! A meritorious, deserving candidate cannot be denied opportunity to this extent - where is rank 2500 & where is 52 & the consequent merit compromise, in the name of backwardness 'affirmative' action - my foot.

Sadly, he is one of the lucky sons to have a parent who could afford to bribe & get a seat. On the other hand, in either community, I really pity those meritorious students who cannot get into 'higher' education for economic reasons, in particualr lack of funds to bribe to offset the handicap created by assured reservation for abject incompetence, ironically, in HIGHER education.

I hope & prey I dont meet with an accident & be forced to be treated by a 'reserved' doc who never had to study/work hard anyway, as everything at every step of the way was 'reserved' for him be it MBBS, PG in Med, Job, Promotion....

It is no exageration that since at any step of the way if any one dares to 'demote' this privileged-non-perforoming spoilt-with-goodies-for-vote lot, questions are raised in Parliament hence the superior, even if he is from BC is forced, to let go the free-loader to next stage! (yet, I salute the people in BC who compete on level playing field & worked with me in India & abroad).

When such issues are raised in parliament, every party becomes the saviour of this lot, encouraging consistent incompetence, never mind the fact that none of these politicians put their sons/daughters thru this torture of having to find a seat in a good college in India; instead they get an industrialist to pay cash US Dollar bribe to get a seat abroad, for 'bending' import/export rules in the industrialist' favour. After British, this country is being plundered by these politician rascals (unfortunately for us they form a majority) under different party banners.

The more split they cause in society, the more choices they have to rabble rouse & hide their own non-performance on issues that matter for India, its development & merit at large.

Common minimum program is not a good idea in a class room. You cant have wide disparity in meritocracy amongst students in one class room. No wonder more than one third of the current 22% reserved lot drop out of IIT at some stage. God save IITs & its international ranking as the world's 5th best tech school (by Times UK) in 2005, after the free-loader's percentage is raised from 22 to 49%!

Every one is not made out be a Engr/Doc, irrespective of whether he/she is from FC or BC. At the end of Secondary schooling they should pursue higher edu or job oriented learnings based on their potential & record thus far, no doubt always aspriring to improve & not settle in the comfort of next free-ride.

Often times, people get away with such abject non-performance at entrance exams that still secures a seat at premier institute, solely due cast based resevation, claiming 'Ah! that is one test - cant be a decider'. If you look closer, their board perf, 10th grade etc wont have a lot to write home about either.

A person who secures 80% at any stage can at best be 85% or at worst 75%. By the same token a person scoring 40% cant hope in his dream to attain 80% - go back & fix basic education quality; give financial aid; dont reserve seat without fixing a max merit compromise of say 10% below the last admit in open category entry criteria.

Thats the way to go to promote the so called 'backward' community.

Massive doses of reservation in Govt in the last 50 years & worse still, job, promotion prospects linked to caste tags have done two damages: 1) de-moralising the other 'doers', who have become a liability too. 2) the free-loaders due their 'inferiority' complex (they know they cant cut the mustard), when it comes to work content, quality of work, merely wield the stick of their 'assured' power & any way dont attempt to learn & perform.

Its a common knowledge that in Govt services, a job doable by a person is attempted to be achieved by employing 5 people instead & still get a shoddy, unaccountable, poor delivery as we experience when we go to get a ration card, RTO offices et al. Substantial part of the blame for this is attributable to 'reservation policy'.

As I write this note in July 2006, the next disaster coming after ruining higher education: job reservation in Private sector - if forced, the Private industry will accept this as a tax & raise the prices of end products & still be in business parking this lot in a corner, with assured promotions & 'device' job-descriptions for this lot that does not expect them to deliver anything, 'grow' in their own stream & continue to get the job done by the say 85% lot (discounting the 'reserved' lot) as against the earlier 100% productive workforce!!

As to the politicians:
1. One wonders why these crooks are 'debating & fine tuning the reservation policy for years' on 33% reservation for women in parliament, in a male dominated, corrupt profession called politics, while they gang up to ruin India's knowledge potential & India Inc at hyper sonic speed.
2. Scoundrels like Ramadoss from south & Meera Kumar are vociforous about 'rejervation'.

Consider this - once his son was assured a 'reserved' seat of being a Health Minister by Congres, Ramadoss announced that he will support Congress from within, even before tha coalition partnership (DPA) head M Karunandhi made up his mind whether to support Congress from within or outside.

As to Meera Kumar, the daughter of ex Defence Minister Jagjivan ram, had been in political wilderness, with no record of any achievement at party level or Governance level, yet squatting in the bungalow allotted to Jagjivan Ram decades after he passed away, until Manmohan singh Govt rescued her as 'backward champion' minister, continuing to 'enjoy' the same bungalow that she is not entitled to, even today, interms of acerage vs her minsterial status!

Its sad that the Country has to learn 'morality' & 'moral responsibility from such third rate scoundrels, who we voted & gave them the power to strike a blow on us, out of no better choice, thanks to carefully 'nurtured' democracy!

God, save India; god, give courage to meritorious youth whose fair opportunity is denied by such myopic policy called 'rejervation'!!