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Reservation in educational institutions

  1. Apr 6, 2006 #1

    siddharth

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    I read this article which annoyed me greatly. It says that, 49.5 per cent of the total seats in IITs, IIMs and Central universities, including Delhi University, are to be reserved for OBCs, SCs and STs. At present, 22.5 per cent seats are reserved for SCs (15%) and STs (7.5%) in these institutes.

    First of all, for those who have not heard of the caste system which exists in India, here's some links which provide a general background on the topic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_caste_system
    http://codesign.scu.edu/hinduism/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action#Indian_history

    By reservation of seats, I mean that, universities must enroll a minimum number of students from the so-called "backward" classes, and this selection is based on different academic and monetary criteria when compared to the students of the other classes. This is supposed to be a type of Affirmative action.

    For example, in my state Tamil Nadu, 69 per cent of seats in state funded universities are allotted to Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and Backward castes, in addition to separate quotas for Most Backward Castes, the physically challenged, sportspersons and wards of freedom fighters, among others (source).

    As a result, the academic criteria for admission are vastly reduced for these castes. For example, in my state, while a student of the "forward" caste (FC) requires a score of 290/300 in the entrance exam of a leading university, a student of the "backward" caste would require a score of about 270/300. This may not seem much, but these are intensely competitive exams with around a hundred and fifty thousand students, and this is a big difference in that context

    What I think is,

    (i) These reservations are not done on the basis of the economic background of the student, but on the basis of caste, which is hereditary.

    (ii) By giving admission to an undeserving candidate, there is injustice being done. Besides, I doubt that such students, who enter on the basis of caste and not academic merit, could cope with what's being taught once they enter. As a result, the quality of education declines.

    It's my view that such reservations are detrimental and should be done away with. In fact, I think that the whole caste system should be abolished. It's ridiculous discriminating people on the basis of caste. The whole idea of backward and forward castes smells of racial discrimination.

    I would like to hear your opinions on this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2006
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  3. Apr 6, 2006 #2

    Astronuc

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    It sounds like racial discrimination to me.

    I vehemently disagree and reject the caste system, as I reject any system based on race, ethnic origin, religion, etc.

    Opportunity should go to anyone who works honestly for it!
     
  4. Apr 6, 2006 #3

    arildno

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    Dearly Missed

    And if it doesn't, Astronuc?
     
  5. Apr 6, 2006 #4

    russ_watters

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    It sounds like racial discrimination to me too.
    It sounds like Affirmative Action to me...
     
  6. Apr 6, 2006 #5

    Gokul43201

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    It's more blatant (I'm sure there's a better word) than affirmative action. AA supporters (including half the SC) will insist that AA does not imply a "quota system".

    This clearly does.
     
  7. Apr 6, 2006 #6

    FredGarvin

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    I was just going to ask how this is any different than our affirmative action policies (because I am near University of Michigan, I have heard quite a bit about that in past few years)?
     
  8. Apr 6, 2006 #7

    Astronuc

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    Then one has to make it so!

    If something doesn't work the way one thinks it should, then the something must be changed so it does work.

    Discrimination is a form of injustice, and injustice is unacceptable, and for me intolerable.

    The only acceptable form of affirmative action is to make sure no individual or group has an unfair advantage. Opportunity should go to qualified people who make an honest effort.
     
  9. May 25, 2006 #8

    siddharth

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    Some awful news (IMO)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/5011078.stm


    :grumpy: :mad:

    As if that was not enough, the newly elected state goverment has announced that it plans to implement the above action plan in privately owned colleges and introduce a new plan which will separately "reserve" seats for religious minorities.

    :grumpy: :mad:

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060525/asp/nation/story_6267476.asp
     
  10. May 25, 2006 #9

    siddharth

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    How? :frown:
     
  11. May 25, 2006 #10

    Astronuc

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    Simple question, complex answer.

    How to get a people in a population of ~ 1,095,351,995 to completely change the way they view the caste system? Many perhaps are ready to eliminate it, but others wish to maintain status quo.

    Perhaps consider the example of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi.

    Or simply start asking "How to make Indian society 'fair and just' for all?".

    Start with oneself, then one's friends, then one's associates, community, . . . .

    One percent inspiration (the easy part), ninety-nine perspiration (and frustration - the hard part).
     
  12. May 25, 2006 #11

    Curious3141

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    India has its own far more egregious version of America's Affirmative Action system. :frown:

    If I had been born in India, I would've been negatively discriminated against (I am of Brahmin parentage, although I don't consider myself a Brahmin since that would presuppose a Hindu faith, which I gave up long ago).

    I was instead born in Singapore, where caste doesn't matter, but race does. I am an Indian, a member of a minority comprising 7 to 8 % of the population. For competitive courses like Medicine (which is by far the toughest course to enter at the local U), a quota system has been in place for some time, where the intake has to include a certain percentage of minorities (like Indians and Malays) to match population demographics. This often means a more deserving Chinese (majority) candidate gets displaced by a less deserving (minority) candidate.

    Now, I am firmly against quota systems of this sort, but I cannot change the system in this country. So I did the only thing I could - I nuked the entry criteria by scoring so well that I would effortlessly and legitimately have earned a place in the faculty had my ethnicity been disregarded. At least one place in that stupid quota went to a candidate who deserved the place (and there were other Indians in my batch who would've made it on merit alone).

    I agree with Astronuc, all forms of "positive" and "negative" racial bias and discrimination should be eliminated from all aspects of society.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2006
  13. May 25, 2006 #12

    Gokul43201

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    Yikes ! Have the IITs and IIMs survived ?
     
  14. May 25, 2006 #13
    Nope...:grumpy:
    Quota Issue Settled

    Increase the facilities, increase the number of seats and make a joke out of premier institutions.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2006
  15. May 25, 2006 #14

    Evo

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    Most of you are probably too young to remember that there was a quota assigned to Affirmative Action in the US at least in the beginning. Companies had to reach a certain percentage of minority employees or else face penalties. I remember at one point my compnay was below quota so they could not hire any white people, the problem was that no minorities could pass the qualification test for employment, so the company decided to waive the test in order to hire enough minorities to avoid being fined. Then the new employess couldn't pass training . It was absolutely ridiculous.
     
  16. May 25, 2006 #15
    It is certainly a farce that a system once used as an equaliser for the caste disparity in our country , is now doing the exact opposite .

    Most of the quota and reservations have been in existence ever since the Indian independence .Of course, at the time it was a good idea, as a majority of the backward classes were illiterate. But today the situation is different , very different .
    Yet, there has been little revision or restructuring in the policies .
    It annoys me a great deal to find economically well heeled students , taking advantage of this system, while more deserving students get left behind .
    This is certainly blatant discrimination and injustice.

    Arun
     
  17. May 25, 2006 #16

    Curious3141

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    Agreed. I think the BJP was moving in a better direction on this than the perpetual "pseudo-champion" of the underdog, Congress.
     
  18. May 25, 2006 #17

    siddharth

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    I would say, even that's debatable. Instead of allocating a fixed number of seats in universities, more importance could have been given in improving the standards of primary and secondary education.

    Yeah, I feel the same way as well. In fact, when I finished high school last year, there were many examples of that happening.

    As Astronuc said, opportunity should go only to qualified people who make an honest effort.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2006
  19. May 25, 2006 #18
    Did you read Arjun Singh's interview?
    http://www.ibnlive.com/news/decision-on-quota-is-final-the-chapter-is-closed/11063-4.html
    No straight answer. No assertions. Only maybe, could etc. Look at his knowledge. And he calls himself the HRD (Human Resources Destruction (to be more precise) ) minister.
    Obviously the government is doing this for votes. And I hope the strikes don't end till the govt. withdraws it. What about the people who will suffer because of this. Let MMS be treated by an OBC doctor for his heart. Who will be blamed for any mishappening? The doctor. But actually it was his fault.
     
  20. May 25, 2006 #19
    There must be an alternative (a strong one) to this doctors-only-strike. One news channel showed a person suffering from blood cancer just lying down on the hospital floor and also a 17-year old boy affected by paralysis.They are from some far-off village who have spent all their money to go there(AIIMS), and all they've been doing is waiting, without treatment, for nearly a fortnight.
     
  21. May 26, 2006 #20

    siddharth

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    Great link, and you're absolutely right. But, then again, all politicians are like that.

    I think there should be an alternative to a doctors strike.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2006
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