Saturday, April 12, 2008

Reservations... Creamy layers ...

The supreme court has landed another 'landmark' judgment - one that's going to make it more difficult for us to land seats in some of the most prestigious institutions of the country; Ones that kids from our place aspire to, right from the day they join L.K.G.

The supreme court has upheld the validity of the providing 27% reservation to the OBCs in central institutions, IITs and IIMs. Looking at the verdict, the apex court seems to have tried to minimize the damage while at the same time giving some advantages to the OBCs. Few measures towards that end seem to be
  1. Exclusion of the creamy layers from the OBC category. The creamy layer definition is quite exhaustive. It's available here:
  2. Directive to review the list of OBCs every 5 years.
  3. Fill up any vacant seats under the OBC quota with candidates from general categories.
I'm not totally against reservations. There are millions of people in our country who cannot even afford a day's meal and it is just not fair to expect their children to compete against the rest of the country and fight for their education. But what bothers me is the manner in which it is being implemented.

Already most of the seats in the state institutions are filled up the candidates under the OBC, SC, ST categories. The central institutions, IITs and IIMs were one of the last places where merit really mattered . Now that has also been removed. Now our kids have to work even harder, compete even more fiercely, battle it out over marks up to 5 decimal places and at the end of the day endure seeing someone with much lower marks getting ahead. Already we see that most people in our community concentrate on nothing but studies. Our children are already over-worked and are mentally and physically stressed out.

The IIMs have declared that the total number of seats will be increased by 54% by 2010, higher than the reservation rate, so that the number under the general quotas are not reduced. That is a welcome move. I hope the other institutions also follow this.

If an OBC candidate is well-prepared and scores well, he/she fills up the general category. If not, still no problem for them - there's always the OBC quota. We, on the other hand will not be able to get in even if we get good marks. We have to be exceedingly brilliant and grab the spots available. Any candidate from the OBC category should first be filled under the OBC quota. Only if the quota there gets filled, should they be allowed to come into the general category. That will at least prevent the scenario where they fill up all the places - The exclusion of creamy layers (I really like this idea) should mitigate this situation a bit. But again, the implementation of that clause worries me. Already all the parties are unhappy about excluding the creamy layer - lest they alienate potential voters. And people will find all ways to go around this. There will many changes to the supreme court definition of the creamy layers.

Somehow over the years, it has been made a bad thing to speak against such reservations. So no one wants to voice against this, fearing that they'll labeled anti-Indian, anti-development, communal and so on. So, these things keep on increasing.

I don't know what's going to be outcome of the so called review of OBC list every 5 years. While it sounds good coming from the mouth of the apex court, in reality it will only lead to more and more communities being included in the list.

Now some parties have started urging the center to extend these reservations to private institutions and private jobs. That is the most horrible thing to do. That is an intrusion into the private freedom of individuals and organizations. I hope this is prevented and we have the choice to participate in a fair competition somewhere. If this goes on, we'll one day be waiting outside Saravana Bhavan waiting for a table under the general quota.


Rainbow said...

:( Romba kashtam da!
Like someone mentioned under last posts's comment...we should all go away somewhere and establish our own society without all this reservations and politics to prevent deserving people from coming up in life.

Antarctica la edavathu edam paaru.

Shyam said...

there was a mail with an ultimate stmnt "India is the only country in the world where people fight to be called as backward...." I dont see anything amusing with this state of affairs.......

banubalaji said...

Ellam thalai ezhuthu!!

Raj said...

Was expecting a post from you on this issue!!
The way these reservations are going is really ridiculous.It will only serve to ruin the only world class educational institutions that India can boast of.
You say that you are not totally against reservations because there are a lot of poor kids out there who do not get a proper education.So do you think that these kids are going to benefit from this? No because they wont even be thinking about an IIT or an IIM.The ones who will benefit are the middle class averagely performing OBCs who receive the same education as we do but who will leapfrog us in the race to the IITs and IIMs. That is really a sad scenario.
The emphasis should be at the grass root level, on improving the standard of education of the poor OBC kids so that everybody can compete for higher education on an even keel.
The reservation systems being pushed forward are done with a view to garner votes and not with any intent or concern for the educational welfare of the OBCs.