Friday, May 18, 2007

OBC quotas

You must have, of course, seen the news- the SC's two-judge bench has decided to refer the matter of reservation for OBCs in centrally-administered educational institutions to a larger constitutional bench. The SC goes into recess for the summer from tomorrow. The media gleefully reports that this buries OBC quotas for the coming academic year.

Does it? The HRD ministry says it will move the SC for a vacation of the stay on OBC quotas. Can the plea be taken up in time for the coming academic session? I suppose yes- by the Vacation bench of the SC. Wait and watch........

Incidentally, I note that the papers have buried the OBC quota story in the inside pages. In more than one paper, I had to hunt for the item. One may be forgiven for supposing that this has to do with the fact that general category is now taken care of and admission letters have been duly despatched. As long as the general category seats were on hold, the story was front page news in the papers and it lead the stories on TV as well.

1 comment:

Krishnan said...

I find the idea of diluting admission standards to the IIT's (and similar institutions) very, very troubling. Yes, by demanding that a portion of the seats to be assigned to specific classes, it IS diluting the process.

Just as India is demonstrating to the world of it's economic and intellectual capital powers, there seems a determined effort at destroying everything that got India there.

Yes, it is true that the "Upper classes" have for generations exploited the "Lower classes" - today it seems that the roles are reversed. The children of the oppressed are oppressing the children of the oppressors, for no fault of either. The real danger is the irreversible damage it will do to the meritocratic infrastructure that has been built since Independence.

Then again, I see that in the US also. Demagogues in the US including the Most Reverend Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are always front and center yelling racism at anything that any white man does if they choose to demagogue it.

What is troubling about all this is the message it sends to the brilliant students, who may be from OBC, whose achievements are diluted because of the impression it creates in the general population "Oh, they got to IIT because they were from the OBC" (It happens in the US also - there ARE many, many brilliant minority students - who do what they do, quietly, out of the limelight, yet because of demagogues, it is difficult for them to have an identity of their own that reflects their merit and not the color of their skin.

I suppose one silver lining in all this is that this is further proof that people may look different in different parts of the world, but their thinking and policies can be remarkably similar and backward.