Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reservation ~ Curse to merit or Boom to disadvantaged

At the start, let me make a candid acceptance that I have been in receipt of reservation benefit under PH3 category, and still I am against the blanket reservation given without merit angle applied to it. I don't demand to absolve reservation but seek merit based reservation, which will not lead merit and deserving student towards hatred of reserved category or worst towards depression and suicide. India being such a vast country and there has been huge population who are economically disadvantaged and for inclusive growth, we need to accept reservation as a ploy, however care should be take again misuse. I would strongly demand reservation for economically disadvantaged, differently able category of people, but no caste based reservation at all. I have consciously not used the statistics or specific examples to discuss advantage or disadvantage of reservation, as we are all well aware about the both merit and demerits. Also the misuse of reservation by politicians across the board is not hidden from anyone, and even the beneficiary knows about it.

Well Reservation should be given, but there is always a system which has to be adhered. Blind and irrational reservation which is motivated by vote bank politics has to be condemned.

Few points which I feel should be considered before giving reservation or devising reservation policy:

1.   Reservation to be given only at initial years: Disadvantaged communities / people (Handicaps included) should be given reservation in primary school, as in giving opportunity to build the career, and then subsequent monetary assistance at subsidized interest rate be continued to the economically poor class. Providing monetary assistance to disadvantaged student is much more important to sustain the daily expense while studying, and avoid inferiority complex that can play havoc due to lack of basic amenities.

Giving opportunity at post graduate level is highly meaningless as ignoring merit, instead as suggested earlier, reservation should be given at start and not at the end of the tunnel where delivery on merit should be given importance and nothing more. Finally there should no reservation in seeking job, MERIT AND ONLY MERIT HAS TO BE APPLIED WHILE SELECTION OF CANDIDATE FOR JOB, no half baked measure in economy building. But “no reservation in job” has to be applied only after reservation at the initial stages has started.

Explanation for point 1 - An economically disadvantaged student getting opportunity at start with financial assistance will be better prepared to compete on merit and will not face inferiority complex at later stage. However, ignoring the merits and graduate or post graduate level affects the eligible student and also affects the output of the economy. This is fact because the reserved category candidate takes the lead over merit. Even if the reserved candidate is capable, the fact cannot be denied, one deserving candidate is denied his due place.

2.   The Reservation must be correlated and capped: The reservation given also should not be blanket reservation, but be capped in correlation to the highest marks received in merit category, and only those reserved category candidate to be considered who are eligible in that capped demand. currently, even if reserved category students get just passing marks deserved the place in the school, which is to be abolished and merit oriented reservation should be considered

Explanation for Point 2 - Supposedly the course has 100 seats and reserved category seats are 5 within those 100 seats. The highest percentage in merit category received is 97%. The reserved category has to have a lower cut off but in correlation to 97% (highest marks), hypothetically, let’s assume calculated lower cut off for reserved category is 65%. Then only those students in reserved category shall get admission for those 5 reserved seats who have scored above 65%. If in scenario, only 3 reserved category students have scored above 65%, then remaining 2 seats to be awarded to merit category instead of inviting underperforming reserved category student. By this merit students get the opportunity and shall not lose their deserved place to underperformer in reserved category. This system will build in the competition among disadvantaged lot, and shall not assume the reservation as birth right.

3.   Economic Reservation: There is talk that only one person of family should be given reservation and it should not be passed on to future generation of that family, as that family is already been taken care by being provided equal fighting status. However the idea is highly contentious and controversial, I would propose to abolish caste based reservation. The region based reservation can’t be debated for its inclusion. However only Handicaps and economically poor be considered for reservation, even if the reservation is already given to another member of family.

Having reservation and abolishing reservation are two extremes, where either of the category is at disadvantage, hence we should urge the policy maker to devise the reservation policy in a way that it assists both the category and the reservation as tool cannot be used for vote bank politics.


    Few points:
    1) When the constitution was written, reservation was supposed to be given only for 10 years,but now its been more than 60 years and reservation still continues
    2)I have many friends who are SC/ST.who are living in bungalows and mansions which even general category ppl cannot afford
    3)Congress is implementing "divide and rule" politics,left behind by britishers for minority appeasement by giving reservations
    4) I still don't get the logic behind giving reservation: My question is, if a person is poor, give him free food,clothing,education,health and sanitation. but,WHY RESERVATION? How can giving RESERVATION compensate for food,health,education and sanitation?

    5)My bro scored 95% in his 10th std,but cudnt get thru top schools,despite such high %, reason is reservation. My blood boiled to see SC/ST students scoring 65% getting into the same college due to reservation

    6) I have heard of many cases of many brahmins converting to SC/ST either being disgusted at their fate,or to enjoy the fruits of reservation!

  2. Appreciate your effort to suggest a more scientific approach to reservation. Unfortunately, the highly politicized nature of reservation means that the methodolgy will be based not on rational criteria but the prevailing power equations between different castes. So there are only two ways - either completely do away with it or settle for a system with distortions built into it by politics.

  3. Good post Laadle. Wish Lalu, Mulayam and other Mandalites read this.

    Agree with most your views.

    However I would opine that Religion based reservation should be given a burial. The term 'Religious minority' should be defined. How can a religious community with a population base of over 16% of our country be called minority in India?

    Only such community clusters which are facing extinction, deprivation, and the base living BPL need protective measures extended to just one generation so as to bring them back into the main stream.

    Reservations linked to vote bank politics should also be given a deep burial. Carpet reservations on the basis of caste etc. should definitely go.

    One time reservation in education and jobs should definitely be extended to physically challenged persons, people who served the army,orphaned youngsters, destitute women and such kind.

    And yes, LS requires a women's quota beyond 33%

  4. boon.
    there needs to be a generational limit - x generations from a family will get reservation.

    despite reservation check the % in institutes of HE - you will find quotas not filled.
    Often the upper caste buy fake caste certs. to short circuit the system- and at other times the intendeded beneficiaries of reservation are too poor to continue education and need to drop out to get a job.

    there are already minority institutios - linguistic / religious - espicially in Mumbai. 50% reservation - for example in a Mitthibai for Gujaratis and South Indians in SIES... let more educational institutes come up.

    The reason you have reservation is because civilisationally we have never shared, and we still balk at the idea of sharing... that is the reason it needs to be imposed.

  5. Brilliant and timely blog. Have been sufferer of this policy since graduation. My suggestion. These reserve candidates whether doctors, engineers, IAS, IPS, officers should be directed to serve moron politicians only so that most of them perish. High time to end this discrimination on caste basis merely to rule the nation.

  6. I am totally against reservation of any type, even to economically backward.These economically weaker sections can be given free material to come up and Physically challenged must be given facilties, but NO RESERVATION. We have reunied our nation with this so called reservations.It's curse to merits.

  7. All agreed and accepted, but is there really a solution? We point fingers at Congress today because it has been in power for almost all the years after independence, but do you really think any other political party would have the spine to completely remove the reservations?
    This is one of the many things of Glorious India which will ALWAYS stay a hurdle in its progress. We can't prosper unless we think above castes and tribes. Unfortunately, not many leaders think this way.

  8. Reservation is not an answer. People want a chance and not charity. Instead of giving people alms in teh for of reservation the system can instead help people to earn their places like by offering sub prime education loans for one

  9. so blogger & other people who comment in support think caste discrimination, caste divide & untouchabilty is thing of past?????? i dont think show still in initial conversation people ask about caste in 3rd or 4th question .i face such q even on net as dont use surname
    first v need to stop using ,mentioning surnames which reveal caste , keep blank a caste column in any govt form
    yes i like to see removal of caste based reservation as soon as possible
    unity among hindus is way forwards

  10. It is a very valuable blog Sirji, addressing a glaring issue that will in the near future hold the nation to ransom if not delegated rationally.

    First of all, let me plainly put my personal perspective on the issue. I REJECT the concept of RESERVATION. I will, but, certainly endorse it for the physically challenged group. They can be categorized depending upon the extent of physical challenge they are subjugated with and reasonable reservations proffered accordingly.

    Larger issue is but extending RESERVATION to the vast majority of the minorities. There is a blanket RESERVATION of 50% thereabout for Minorities and remaining divided among the different caste segments falling amongst Hindus and some others. The categorization of these groups is not only laughable, but pathetic. Have a look at the breakdown :-
    MU - Muslims
    OBX - other backward Christians????
    OBH - other backward Hindus
    OBC - other backward Communities
    LC - Latin Christians
    EZ - Ezhavas
    SC - Schedule Caste
    ST - Schedule Tribe
    Other backward Christians? Latin Christians? Astonishing!!!! Anyway…..

    There may be plenty more that I am not aware of. What is this if not breach and dissection of the social and cultural fabric of India? This is social stigma personified and inculcated into the mainstream mindset of a robust young generation thereby polarizing the basic behavior of the emerging populace.

    Why should there be a 50% RESERVATION for Muslims? Are they so deprived or bereft of livelihood in India. There are more impecunious Hindus than other religions, if one wants to go by the religious parameter, to envisage or measure the extent of poverty. Nay, this is an abnormal legislation brought into our constitution by imprudent intellects vying the vote bank alone.

    I agree with Shri. Raghu above in the context that yes, we must protect those societies that are becoming extinct, those that are below BPL, those that are manipulated so on and so forth, but with a time frame of perhaps say 50 years or less. And it should firmly stop there.

    Beyond that, to encourage RESERVATION is the most sinister of crimes. I am an OBC and studied using the favors contained therein. But, I have seen the pain of those high achievers, by virtue of being Higher Caste Hindus, await their turn for admissions to colleges "after us"! Isn't it ludicrous? No doubt I have enjoyed its advantages but now I look back upon in regret and shame. I wonder what would have happened to some of those who did not succeed in getting an admission? It is more painful when on a hypothetical average, 3 high caste Hindus scrape through, 5-7 amongst the other categories walk through and ridiculously 15-20 of the Muslims dance through the discriminatingly segregated lines of admissions!

    RESERVATION is EVIL. Period. Though you have brought out some wonderful suggestions that can be pondered, by and large it does leave a devil's share of anguish and twinge amongst those deserving. My thought process is more in line with that of Swathi above. Provide all that is needful for sustenance to the Poor and Impoverished except RESERVATION.

    A wholesome and wonderful blog and thanks for inviting my attention to it!

  11. Appreciate your efforts in blogging a complex issue like reservation in our country. The whole concept has been hijacked by political ethos of this country. In a country were every action is highly polarized on cast & religion lines your suggestion for a scientific methods may not have relevance today.It would need a great consensus in our political divide to arrive at some distortions built into the system or completely do away. I would any day prefer to completely do away with reservations though.

  12. Good job Jaymin! Problem with reservation based on caste is that the really deserving under privileged rural students never benefit. Your suggestions are very good and carry credibility. What you have suggested is a good model and we should push for implementation. Like all good ideas, a time will come for it.