Thursday, April 10, 2008

49.5% Reservation in IIT & IIM : The Great Indian Education Express?

Almost 2 decades back, I had been a student of IIT where 22.5% of my batch mates were from the reserved category. There is a myth that reserved students are less meritorious. I do not recall anyone (from reserved category) in my batch or hostel , who was noticeably deficient in intellectual capabilities. They might have ranked lower in the JEE but when IITs are picking the top 2% of the country's best students through one single exam where 1 or 2 marks can mean a drastic drop in ranking; one must remember that the next 3% of students are also equally good. And , all of them are doing exceedingly well in their professions today. Had it not been for the reservations, some of them may have missed the bus.

Having said that the intense competition for the IITs and the IIMs have now reached a very unhealthy stage. Students have been found to be staking 4-5 years of their secondary-education time after preparations for the JEE. Secondly the country requires a much larger number of highly qualified engineers and managers. The time has come to broad base quality higher education to larger number of applicants. The government has announced setting up of a few more IITs & IIMs but the requirement is much much more. Capacity expansion is inevitable in such a scenario.

The only apprehension with nearly 50% reservation , is that there are more number of special interest groups which have been historically marginalised . Muslims, Women, people of NE & other hill states are some of them. Shouldn't reservation be extended to them too? Shouldn't these marginalised people also find representation in elite institutions?

And if the answer is yes then we might soon find the scenario where reservation in institutions would resemble a long distance express train. Only one coach will be unreserved and unfit for comfortable travel while rest of the 20 odd coaches would be reserved for all kinds of travellers.

Creators of "The Great Indian Education Express" would then have to necessarily allow only "merit" to be the selection criterion and scrap all reservations made till that point of time.

"Historical" justice on social engineering have to be delivered with a predefined time period and not be allowed to exist in perpetuity.


hmm....very smart said...

hai your wrote nice but i miss something here...just like why we need reservation?...
I THINK if someone is quite intelegetnt to get through CAt and JEE then he or she dosent need any kind of reservation. and reservation increase diff. betwenn two people.
thats all i thnk you should include with wide critaria but though its nice.

Salty said...

Hey h..v smart,
Thanx for your comment. I agree with you that reservation goes against the principle of meritocracy. All I as trying to say that our country is going through a process of appeasing various interest groups based on language, religion, gender & caste. But finally they will realise that reservation in higher education & jobs stunts true development & growth.