Reservation Report


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Reservation Report

  1. 1. Reservation Policies in India Amrish Ashwinkumar Jhaveri seeds of caste get drilled into our minds. Each time before Abstract—The document deals with the Reservation Policies in elections, new reservations start to emerge. Governments areIndia. Some of the recent issues in relation to Reservation practicing the policy of “divide and rule” with our ownissues have been highlighted and briefly discussed. people. We hear this even during admissions to under- graduate courses. But is it correct to carry it into the post- I. INTRODUCTION graduation phase also? India -"Hindustan" literally means the land of Hindus. It isa secular nation since 1950. Officially, there is no place for Nowadays the value of professional education hasreligious, cultural or caste segregation in the society. plummeted with a large number of private institutionsHowever, the framers of the Indian Constitution decided to entering into the stream. The number of engineers coming outgive special benefits to the backward classes and women by every year is beyond the imagination. It is like pamperingforming a reservation policy that was included in the kids through school and junior college right into theConstitution itself. professional education stream, without requiring any effort from them at all. But do we need to do it even at the post When our country achieved independence, a large section graduation level? When will a person learn to go all-out forof the society was leading a miserable life. They had been something in life? How far can they go when they have beenexploited for ages and the false beliefs in the society at that driven into the industry and have not learnt the art of survivaltime further worsened their condition. The government of to start with?that day introduced the concept of reservations so that therewould be equal progress of all sections of the society. Over II. BACKGROUNDthe years, the condition of the people of reserved categories The subject of reservations is a vast one, in terms of ahas improved at a fast rate while that of the middle class, historical account. A great deal has been written againstgeneral or open category people has remained more or less reservations policies since the acceptance of the Mandalthe same. After nearly 60 years of independence now, general Commission Report in 1991 in favour of reservations incategory people have started to feel that they are being higher education and government services for the othersubjugated and that the odds have been stacked against them. backward classes of India.At a time like this, the government‟s decision to bring outlegislation to implement a 27% quota for OBCs adds further India was a country with highly rigid caste-basedfuel to the fire. hierarchal structure, with ascending order of privileges and descending order of disabilities, which operated for about In a free and fair country, the candidate who is the most 3000 years. There was an overwhelming majority in theworthy should get the opportunity irrespective of his caste, nation that was still backward – socially, economically,creed and religion. When caste becomes the criteria for educationally, and politically. These victims of entrenchedselection, how can one expect to get what is honestly due to backwardness comprise the present scheduled castes (SC),him. The government argues that it can balance the equation scheduled tribes (ST) and other backward classes (OBC).by increasing the number of seats in the educational Even though, these classes are generically the "Backwardinstitutions. But then it is the quality of education that suffers. Classes,” the nature and magnitude of their backwardness areBefore we come to the higher secondary stage none of us even not the same. After achieving independence from the Britishtalks of these quotas. Then the process of applying for the in the late 1940s, it became a democratic and egalitarianentrance exams for the professional courses starts and the nation. It was imperative at that point to establish a code for Page 1
  2. 2. the political, economic, and social structure. The their upliftment and had not organized themselves as aConstitution, established in 1950, strove to do the same. political force. It was with the arrival of Ambedkar that they acquired a leader of stature and education who could make a political difference. The framer of the constitution of India was Ambedkar and hence made certain arrangements for the backward classes to allow them to enjoy a humane lifestyle and for their upliftment. The reservations for the backward classes are of three broad categories: political, educational and employment. For the first, the Constitution provides for reservation of seats in proportion to their numbers for the SCs and the STs in the Lok Sabha (The Lower House) in its Article 330, and in the Vidhan Sabha (The Upper House) inFig. 1 A pie diagram which shows the opinions of various people Article 332. These provisions do not exist for the OBCs,regarding reservations in the Indian education system. which indicate that the principal categories for the affirmative The STs were the tribes that had not confirmed to action are the SCs and STs according to the Constitution. ForHinduism in the historical perspective and lived animistic the second, an implication exists in the constitutionallifestyles. SCs were the lower castes in the caste-hierarchy of provision - Article 15(4), which allows the state to make anythe Hindu culture. The Constitution directs in its Article 46 special provision for the advancement of any socially andthat the state shall promote with special care the educational educationally backward classes of citizens or for the SCs andand economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, STs. For the third, the constitutional provisions as modifiedin particular, of the SCs and STs, and shall protect them from and simplified from time to time are the Article 16(4), Articlesocial injustice and all forms of exploitation. Central to this 16(4A), Article 16(4B), Article 335, and Article 320(4).directive, and other related provisions is reservation, which is These articles provide explicitly for reservation in educationala package of constitutional provisions and their intended institutions for the backward classes and the authority of thefollow-up programs for the social advancement of the weaker state to make any required changes with time, as required.sections. Our interviewee Prof. Rugved V. Deolekar has said, In the Indian context, reservations were introduced during “Reservation was introduced to bring about the developmentthe last decades of the 19th century at a time when the of every section of the society, but know after 50-60 years nosubcontinent could be broadly divided according to two main section of the society is lacking behind.”forms of governance – British India and the 600 princely III. CURRENT SITUATIONstates. Some of these states were progressive and eager tomodernize through the promotion of education and industry As of now, the total reservation quota stands at 45% inand by maintaining unity among their own people. Mysore in many states of India and this includes the SCs, STs, and thesouth India and Baroda and Kolhapur in western India took OBCs. The trend seems to have shifted to reverseconsiderable interest in awakening and advancement of the discrimination rather than mere affirmative action. Someminorities and deprived sections of the society. It should not backward class elites have gained political and/or economicsurprise us then that the very first records of implementing power based on this reservation. However, a majority of thereservations policies are from these princely states. backward classes is not living any differently than before. When English was introduced as the official language, the Their subsistence is meager and rural lifestyles do not provideupper and monetarily well off classes decided to go into law them with any of the benefits. Thus, a distinct economic classor civil service. The untouchables or the repressed classes had system exists within the backward classes. Since economicjoined the presidency armies and fought battles under the status is not a test used, undeserving people gain thecommand of British officers. They had contributed a great advantages and the deserving ones are still without adeal towards the creation of the British Empire. The significant change in their situations.untouchables were asking for concessions and facilities for Page 2
  3. 3. This sorry state of affairs is a result of political factors and Court. In spite of all oppositions to the Mandal, reservationsthe social policies existing in a society in which, the old caste in favor of OBCs were upheld to the extent of 27 per cent.prejudices and discriminations. Those who are loud in their Thus, the reservations offered to the SCs and STs werecriticism of reservations invariably belong to the dominant extended to OBCs at a national level in 1993. It is interestinggroups, who have been enjoying the benefits of, if not a to note at this point that Christians, Muslims, other religiousmonopoly over, education, wealth, land, and public services minorities and women are still not given a specificin India. On the other hand, the worst victims of the reservation quota on a national level, even though a lot ofcondemnation, persecution and exploitation of contemporary states offer incentives to these people. The current slogan insociety have been the untouchables and women. As Das says India seems to be “abolish reservation because merit andin his article, “There is a difference between a bird‟s point of efficiency are in danger.”view and the worm‟s point of view.” Fig.3 A person with his views on reservation.Fig.2 A pie diagram which shows whether the people in the reservedcategory need reservation. IV. TYPES OF RESERVATION The Poona Pact of 1936 gave more seats to the backwardclasses but transferred the right to elect their own Seats in educational institutions and jobs are reservedrepresentatives. This has caused a political pressure because based on a variety of criteria. The quota system sets aside athe people voted out of these constituencies were proportion of all possible positions for members of a specificunwaveringly faithful to the parties and the leaders who group. Those not belonging to the designated communitiesadopted them as candidates and funded their elections. This can compete only for the remaining positions, while membershad far reaching effects and obstructed the progress of the of the designated communities can compete for all positionsbackward classes in other fields too. The independent (reserved and open). For example, when 2 out of 10 clericalconstitution of India gave reservation rights to all the positions in railways are reserved for ex-servicemen, thoseminorities including backward classes in 1950, and rectified who have served in the Army can compete both in thethis. Reservation quotas, created with a view to giving a share General Category as well as in the specific the members of the society who had been deniedopportunities in the past, antagonized those sections of A. Caste Basedsociety, which were enjoying the monopoly of power. Seats are reserved for Schedules Castes, Scheduled Tribes, The Mandal Commission Report of 1991 was in favour of and Other Backward Castes in varying ratio by the centralreservations in higher education and government services for government and state government. This caste is decided basedthe other backward classes of India. Angry students belonging on birth, and can never be changed. While a person canto the Hindu upper castes, and even the Supreme Court bar change his religion, and his economic status can fluctuate, theassociation challenged and opposed the implementation of the caste is permanent.recommendations of this commission. Even though the rightsof SCs and STs had nothing to do with the subject of OBCs in In central government funded higher education institutions,the Mandal Report, certain items affecting them were 22.5% of available seats are reserved for Scheduled Casteincluded as issues in a writ petition filed in the Supreme (Dalit) and Scheduled Tribe (Adivasi) students (15% for SCs, Page 3
  4. 4. 7.5% for STs). This reservation percentage has been raised to or Christians. The governments argument is that this sub-49.5%, by including an additional 27% reservation for OBCs. quota is based on the backwardness of the religiousIn AIIMS 14% of seats are reserved for SCs, 8% for STs. In communities and not on the religions themselves.addition, SC/ST students with only 50% scores are eligible.This ratio is followed even in Parliament and all elections Andhra Pradesh administration has introduced a lawwhere a few constituencies are earmarked for those from enabling 4% reservations for Muslims. This has beencertain communities. In a few states like Tamil Nadu, the contested in court. Kerala Public Service Commission has apercentage of reservation is 18% for SCs and 1% for STs, quota of 12% for Muslims. Religious minority statusbeing based on local demographics. In Andhra Pradesh, 25% educational institutes also have 50% reservation for theirof educational institutes and government jobs for BCs, 15% particular religions. The Central government has listed afor SCs, 6% for STs and 4% for Muslims. number of Muslim communities as backward Muslims, making them eligible for reservation.B. Management Quota E. State of Domiciles Most controversial quota is the Management quotaaccording to the advocators of Pro-caste reservation people. It With few exceptions, all jobs under state government areis also been seriously criticized by leading educationalists as reserved to those who are domiciles under that is a quota based on economic status irrespective of caste, In PEC Chandigarh, earlier 80% of seats were reserved for Chandigarh domiciles and now it is 50%.race and religion as anybody who has money can buy his seat.It reserves about 15 % seats in private colleges for thestudents who are decided by the college managements own F. Undergraduate Collegescriteria. The criteria involves the colleges own entrance examor minimum %age of 10+2 legally. Institutes like JIPMER (Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research) have a policyC. Gender Based of reserving postgraduate seats for those who completed their MBBS in JIPMER. AIIMS used to reserve 33% of its 120 Due women reservations, women get 33% reservation in postgraduate seats for the 40 undergraduate studentsgram panchayat (meaning village assembly, which is a form (meaning everyone who had completed MBBS in AIIMS wasof local village government) and municipal elections. In assured a postgraduate seat, which was judged illegal by aaddition, women in India get reservation or preferential Court.treatments in education and jobs. Certain men consider thispreferential treatment of women in India as discrimination G.Other Criteriaagainst them in admissions to schools, colleges, and Some reservations are also made for:universities. For instance, several law schools in India have a30% reservation for females. Progressive political opinion in 1) Sons / Daughters / Grandsons / Granddaughters ofIndia is strongly in favor of providing preferential treatment Freedom women in order to create a level playing field for all of itscitizens. 2) Physically handicapped. The Womens reservation Bill was passed by the Rajya 3) Sports personalities.Sabha on 9 March 2010 by a majority vote of 186 members in 4) Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) have a small fraction offavor and 1 against. It will now go to the Lok Sabha, and if reserved seats in educational institutions. They have topassed there, would be implemented. pay more fees and pay in foreign currency (Note: NRID.Religion Based reservations were removed from IIT in 2003). The Tamil Nadu government has allotted 3.5% of seats 5) Candidates sponsored by various organizations.each to Muslims and Christians, thereby altering the OBCreservation to 23% from 30% since it excludes persons 6) Those who have served in the armed forces (ex-belonging to Other Backward Castes who are either Muslims serviceman quota). Page 4
  5. 5. 7) Dependants of armed forces personnel killed in action. will only get tarnished a bit as the other half might not have had the kind of background and aptitude as is the norm. But 8) Repatriates. the proponents pay heed to the fact that the reservations are at the entry stage. Each reserved category student has to later 9) Those born from inter-caste marriages. qualify in the examination before becoming a doctor or 10) Reservation in special schools of Government engineer. The "merit" required for qualifying to be a doctor or Undertakings /PSUs meant for the children of their engineer is NOT lowered by reservations. This is the reason employees (e.g. Army schools, PSU schools, etc.). why many reserved category students take longer to complete the course -- as also are sometimes withdrawn from the 11) Paid pathway reservations in places of worship (e.g. course. For this very reason, the students who pass out from Tirupathi Balaji Temple, Tiruthani Murugan (Balaji) private colleges too do not result in significant lowering of temple). quality of professionals. The reality is that, many fit candidates are today denied opportunity simply because of 12) Seat reservation for Senior citizens/ PH in Public Bus shortage of seats. The advocates of meritocracy must answer transport. as to why they conveniently forget about „talent when seats are sold in the name of NRI quotas or through massive fee V.RESERVATION OR NO RESERVATION- T HE DEBATE hikes. Why dont they oppose reservation of education for the rich through privatization of higher education? If they are so The word Reservation is mostly misconstrued, concerned about talent, why they dont advocate furthermisunderstood, vague, and even mythical. There is a general extension of central educational institutions like IITs andbelief that those who oppose reservations are free from caste IIMs by increasing their seats and reducing the fees?considerations while those who support reservations are votehungry. The truth is that there are many sincere people on Another argument given by the adversary againstboth sides. So the question is “Do we need talent or reservations is that India does not have the money orreservations to build our country?” resources to increase the number of seats in our professional colleges. Also that, it will force more students to move to The opponents often consider it that reservations result in other countries for their higher education as if one cannotdenial of seats to those with merit in the General Category. find good seats in India, they would not be left with optionsBut in most cases, as per the proponents thousands of general other than to move to the other countries and the foreigncategory candidates with basic merit are competing for a few institutes will only be glad to accept the Indian students. Onhundred seats. The number of reserved seats is limited to a the other hand the promoters believe that the youths shouldfew tens. Thus the maximum "loss" due to reservations is realize that we do have enough money and resources. It ishighly limited. Most general category candidates with merit vested interests (such as a section of the Indian Medicallose out only because the number of available seats far Association) who have been lobbying with the governmentoutstrips the number of candidates with merit. But now when NOT to increase the number of seats -- because in theirthe reservations will rise up to 49.5% then it cannot be said myopic vision, this would create too many professionals inso. It will only make the competition doubly tough (and it‟s the country. The fact is that India is woefully short ofalready one of the toughest in the world) for students whocan‟t avail the reservations resulting in denial of seats to the professionals. Also they describe it to be ironical that those people who are crying hoarse over the loss of merit haveGeneral Category. That will mean - more stress, more never bothered to raise their voice when the government wasfrustration and more discontent. commercializing education and allowing all sub-standard The opponents of the reservations say that it results in institutes to be set-up across the country.diluting the quality of professionals (by letting in those with Then comes the issue of social inequality. As per thelower marks). When the 50% of the seats that gets filled up is contenders of reservations, social inequity in India (in termsnot exactly based on the talent, it is bound to affect the quality of under-representation of some identifiable communitiesof the students. It will also faint the brand image of the within the elite) is due to general lack of merit of thepremier institutes as the image of the premier institutes is thatit produces students of quality much better than most other Page 5
  6. 6. concerned community. However the supporter of reservations regarding the caste & religious composition of our people tosays this is a racist stand that we need to reject completely. ensure that no single identifiable group would corner social resources disproportionate to their numbers. It has always It is often argued that granting political equality to each been such unreasonable cornering of resources that hasindividual Indian will result in every one getting what they divided countries anywhere in the world. Hiding of facts fromdeserve where as the reality is that when the seats are in short census reports has never succeeded in preserving a countryssupply, a lot of individuals who are "deserving" end up not unity!getting admissions that they deserve. Conversely, theadvocates of reservation state this would remain so even if Reservations in India primarily benefit the creamy layerthere were no quota seats! The principle of "political equality" within the eligible groups. This is true in India, as it has beenis valid only when the number of seats matches the number of in the US too. This is so because, within the quota group, thethose who deserve to get seats; and only when the problem of selection is always based on merit. How can this beglaring economic inequity has been successfully tackled by otherwise? The basic aim of the reservation policy was to givesociety. students belonging to SC/ST/OBC equal opportunities because of their social disadvantages and lack of resources Some sections of the opponents feel reservations to be and exposure. But the question is whether this purpose hasacceptable on economic criteria; but not based on caste. After been accomplished with reservation quotas. Reservationsall we are all Indians. Nonetheless the proponents feel both were part of the constitution when it was released in 1950.economic and caste criteria will need to be considered for However, that was supposed to be a temporary measure and tosocial upliftment measures by the government. We cannot serve for a limited period. But even after 56 years, the policy"claim" to be Indians (in a colour-blind, caste-blind way) claims to be a measure to promote equality and freedom. Wewhere college admissions are concerned, and yet continue to can "skim out" the cream from the quota groups -- this willhave rigid castes on ground, whose members do not even benefit the reserved groups, but will further increase theinter-marry! This is an argument of convenience. shortage in the general category. Is this what the society wants? The only solution is to increase the number of seats. Another genuine argument against reservations is that itwill divide India, by asking for the caste of people. If 56 years There are several arguments provided both in support andare insufficient for the so-called upliftment of backward in opposition to reservation. Some of the arguments on eitherclasses, then does the government intend to continue the side are often disputed by the other, while others are agreedreservation system for an indefinite period? This is a serious upon by both sides, with a possible third solution proposed toissue to be pondered over. Isn‟t it fair to say that instead of accommodate both parties.abolishing the caste system, this policy reinforces it? Arguments offered by supporters of reservation 1) Reservations are a political necessity in India because By implementing the reservation regime, hatred towards vast influential sections of voting population seecastes will be enhanced which will lead to aggravated reservations as beneficial to themselves. Alltensions not only in the IIT and IIM classrooms, but across governments have supported maintaining and/orthe entire country. Democratic government will fail to increasing reservations. Reservations are legal andachieve its purpose and the hidden intention of the binding. As shown by Gujjar agitations (Rajasthan,government to increase their vote banks will remain 2007–2008), increasing reservations is also essentialunfulfilled in the long run because the rest of the population for peacekeeping in India.will ultimately lose faith in the so-called democratic system. 2) Although Reservation schemes do undermine theHowever on this note, the backer of reservation have no doubt quality of education but still affirmative Actionthat we will continue to ask for a persons caste and religion schemes are in place in many countriesat least for the purpose of marriage -- for a very long time to including USA, South Africa, Malaysia, Brazil etc. Itcome. Let us accept reality that we are a country of many was researched in Harvard University that Affirmativeidentifiable religious, linguistic, cultural and caste Action programmes are beneficial to the under-communities who would not normally inter-marry. We will privileged. The studies said that Blacks who enter eliteneed to build our countrys unity within this diversity. I feel institutions with lower test scores and grades thanthat it is important that we collect and maintain hard data those of whites achieve notable success after Page 6
  7. 7. graduation. They earn advanced degrees at rates be at least happy with the fact that they are wh ite- identical to those of their white classmates. They are collared throughout their life. even slightly more likely than whites from the same Arguments offered by anti-reservationists institutions to obtain professional degrees in law, 1) Caste Based Reservation only perpetuates the notion business and medicine. They become more active than of caste in society, rather than weakening it as a their white classmates in civic and community factor of social consideration, as envisaged by the activities. constitution. Reservation is a tool to meet narrow3) Although Reservation schemes do undermine the political ends. quality of education but still Affirmative Action has 2) Allocating quotas is a form of discrimination which helped many - if not everyone from under-privileged is contrary to the right to equality. and/or under-represented communities to grow and 3) Granting reservations to groups to get elected occupy top positions in the worlds leading industries. because they see it as beneficial to themselves and Reservation in education is not the solution, it is just threaten to riot is corruption and lack of political one of the many solutions. Reservations are a means to resolve. It isnt an argument in favor of reservations. increase representation of the present under- 4) The policy of reservation has never been subject to a represented caste groups and thereby improve diversity widespread social or political audit. Before extending on campus. reservation to more groups, the entire policy needs to4) Although Reservation schemes do undermine the be properly examined, and its benefits over a span of quality of education but still they are needed to provide nearly 60 years have to be gauged. social justice to the most marginalized and 5) The 60% of India that is rural needs schools, health underprivileged. Reservation will really help these care and infrastructure in rural areas, not reservation marginalized people to lead successful lives, thus in urban institutions. eliminating caste-based discrimination which is still 6) Poor people from "forward castes" do not have any widely prevalent in India especially in the rural areas. social or economical advantage over rich people (about 60% of Indian population stays in villages) from backward caste. In fact traditionally Brahmins5) Anti-reservationists have made a gross mix-up have been poor. between brain-drain and reservation. Brain-drain is 7) Many cite the Mandal Commission report while mainly attributed to the "want" to become rich very supporting the idea of reservations. According to the fast. Even if we assume that reservation could be a Mandal commission, 52% of the Indians belong to fraction of the cause, one must understand that brain - OBC category, while according to National Sample drain is a concept which is meaningless without Survey 1999-2000, this figure is only 36% (32% nationalism, which is separatism from humankind as a excluding Muslim OBCs). whole. If people leave the country whining about 8) This policy of the government has already caused reservation, they dont have enough nationalism and increase in brain drain and may aggravate further. brain-drain does not apply to them. Under graduates and graduates will start moving to6) Meritocracy is meaningless without equality. First of foreign universities for higher education. all people must be brought to the same level, whether 9) Most opportunity in modern Indian cities is in it elevates a section or de-levels another, regardless of businesses that are owned by people who are not merit. After that, we can talk about merit. Forward from the highest castes. Being high caste in a city is people have never known to go backward due to no advantage. reservations or lack of "meritocracy". Reservations have only slowed down the process of "Forward VI. CONSEQUENCES becoming more richer and backward becoming more There are a large number of failings in the reasons poorer". In China, people are equal by birth. In Japan, publicized by the government for implementing this decision. everyone is highly qualified, so a qualified man Firstly, the government has rooted its decision in a survey finishes his work fast and comes for labour work for conducted by the English prior to Independence, on the which one gets paid more. So the forward people must percentage of the OBCs in the population. The reserved Page 7
  8. 8. category candidates occupy nearly 52% of the government a single move. This decision has occurred mainly as a resultjobs today. Then what is the immediate need to increase the of the hype over the high salaries that IIT and IIM graduatesquotas? Though the government would not agree to it, most have been getting recently. These institutions are seen aspeople feel that this is just another way to persuade the voters. places where people can get rich. The government wants to give opportunities to the backward castes to earn similar The above stated move by the government brought out the salaries. But this should not happen at the cost of the qualitystudents, resident doctors and even the faculty members of of education. There is no doubt that when the quality ofAIIMS and many other hospitals to protest against the education suffers, there won‟t be such high salaries anyway.government. None of us would hesitate to say that thesedoctors were inhuman and heartless to have neglected eventhe emergency services. But isn‟t it our government that is tobe held responsible for a situation like this. Year after year,the governments of India have been enforcing their will onthe people, making us ponder if ours is a democracy at all. Fig.4 A pie diagram which shows number of people who have suffered due to the reservation system. The involvement of the courts in various strike-related issues has just lead to the end of these strikes, but it hasn‟t been able to provide justice to the protesters. The courts, which we look to for a fair solution to any issue, have only been leaning towards the government. Even in the case of theFig.3 A pie diagram which shows number of people thinking that reservation ishampering India‟s protest of resident doctors in Andhra Pradesh against increaseprogress. in the quota for service candidates in the post graduate course The decision has indeed drawn criticism from many seats, the protesters got nothing but an assurance from thequarters. Getting reservations would be a good thing, but the government that the matter will be looked into. The courts inadvantage always lies with the “more privileged” section of many other cases have been successful only in obtainingthese backward castes. For instance, most students from assurances and not in delivering justice to the people. Thisbackward castes do not reveal the truth about their parents‟ really questions the law which states that no strikes orincome and get the scholarships for education that they protests must be staged on an issue when the matter is inwouldn‟t get normally. We must also consider what the future judicial review. This law is in favor of the government andof the candidates who acquire education through reservation must be looked into immediately.will be. At present, since the percentage of quotas is small,the employers don‟t bother. If the government implements There is a strong feeling these days that in the future therethis decision, nearly 50% of the seats will be under won‟t be a single general category student going for higherreservation. The employers in future might start dividing education in India. It looks like the government wants tocandidates into reserved and unreserved categories. There are make it a reality too. It is alright as long as there is no limitmany merited students even from the OBCs and other on the number of general category students going abroad andreserved categories. Wouldn‟t it hurt their sentiments if the banks keep providing huge loans, but there are many whoemployers start to look down at them as they have obtained cannot afford to take these loans at high interest rates. The solution to the overall problem cannot be obtained in a shorttheir degrees through reservation? period of time. Firstly, the government should have the latest It is right that some sections have been oppressed for statistics of different categories of people within the society atdecades, hindering their progress. But the government cannot the present time. Since India has a large population, morereverse the process and repair the wrong done in decades with Page 8
  9. 9. institutions which can impart high quality education to the This way all the problems and objections to the reservationstudents should be opened in various parts of India and the policy will end. Wake up Indians and understand the realityinstitutions that we have at present should be upgraded to of Indian politics. Otherwise we Indians will keep debatingmeet the rising demands. The government should also do on the need and bad effects of Reservation and these politicalsomething for the economically backward people of the business houses will keep dividing Indian society on the namehigher castes who have been left to strive for themselves. of caste, religion and gender. So don‟t be fool and do notLet‟s be positive and hope the government will consider all waste your energy and applications and brain powerthese factors and find a solution that is fair and just for all regarding cancellation of reservation.and not try to impose its will on the people. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be Our interviewee Prof. Rugved V. Deolekar has said, “I, free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages.myself, am from reserved category but took admission at the Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical andpost graduation level based on merit.” professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis VII. SOLUTIONS of merit. And having a reservation based on the caste system is nothing but laughable. The real differentiator is the For the benefit of India we as Indians should support every financial background and not the caste background. It is anreservation and demand that every reservation should be assault on talent; after all, intellect has no caste. Let‟s not trybased on collective salary of family and should be available to solve a problem, which existed in 80‟s and earlier now,for the first two children of the family and database should be without validating if it makes sense in the current situation.maintained who is enjoying the benefits of reservation anddata should be available on the internet.This should be applied to the education, jobs, womenreservation and whatever reservation policy our electedpoliticians try to implement in India.Just think as an Indian and be honest with yourself,do you think by opposing the reservation bills and delayingthe bills we are getting anything?By opposition what we Indians are getting , just delay inmaking of new laws and in this fight we Indians do not evencare to know inside of the new legislation and law.We are wasting valuable time of our generation as well as Fig.5 A pie diagram showing the number of people against the belief of removal of the reservation system by Indian generations. Just calculate how many hours Indians haswasted in last 14 years regarding the women reservation bill. The opposition to reservation arises from those sectionsWith just few modifications to women reservation bill, the that include a large number of the economically deprived.women reservation bill will create wonders in India. Actually, both the votaries and opponents of reservationsJust three clauses will change the reservation attitude in seem to consider admission into the limited number of seatsIndia: and recruitment to the limited number of jobs available as the1. Reservation on the collective salary of family, that is salary crucial question for their economic progress. Reservations areof husband and wife, and incomes derived from all other one of the important issues raised by the national movementsources like gifts or income from joint family property. to uplift the socially oppressed sections of our society. Though2. The benefit of the reservation for only first 2 children of the reservations were intended as a temporary measure, thethe family. failure of the successive governments in ensuring equitable3. Creation of online database so every Indian will know and speedy economic development led to their continuationwhich family is enjoying the benefits of reservation in and made them a contentious issue. We must understand thateducation or job or women reservation. it is not the policy of reservation that lies at the root of the problem but it is the limited number of employment and educational opportunities that is the root cause. Page 9
  10. 10. Due to this failure of the successive governments, ACKNOWLEDGMENTmeritorious students are suffering because they are being First of all we would like to thank Prof. Kavita Fondekarprecluded from their seats and backward class students are for helping us in various aspects of this report. We would likesuffering because even if they are meritorious, the quota tag to thank all the people who gave their time for the survey.will always be attached to them wherever they go. Even if We would also like to give special thanks to our intervieweesome people argue that the basic level of education is not the Prof. Rugved V. Deolekar.same, it is not the fault of students from the generalcategories. REFERENCES Some people do argue that reservations have benefited only [1] Das, Bhagwan “Moments in a History of Reservations” Economic anda small section of the people. It has become a political game Political Weekly, Vol. 35, No.43 and 44, October 28, 2000. [2] WIKIPEDIA- The Free Encyclopedia. [Online]. Available:and the people who should get this opportunity do not get it. who have money and power get fake backward classcertificates and prove before the government that they deservereservation. At the level of facts, this is true and it becomesnothing else than a sheer attempt to amputee the buddingwings of people from General Quota. But instead of pointingto the futility of reservations it only points to an importantfact-that unless democratic movement becomes strong enoughto get the provision of reservations effectively implemented,this limitation will continue and cannot be avoided. This decision is a step for setting wrong trend. - Today, itis demanded for these premier institutes. Tomorrow,somebody will demand the same for actual placements in theother fields including the private companies. So, why shouldthere not be reservations in the field of Acting, Art, etc. Isthere an end to it? In the end, India and reservations canbloom together only when reservations are made onreasonable basis. Our interviewee Prof. Rugved V. Deolekar has said, “Manypeople belonging to the reserved category are taking undueadvantage of the reservation. But from another point of viewthose who are worthy based on merit are losing their valuedue to reservations.” VIII.CONCLUSION Taking into considerations all the points we can concludethat reservations were introduced in the Indian Educationsystem as a means for the overall development of the society.However, today all sections of the society have beendeveloped economically, culturally and socially. Hence, theneed for reservations is limited. Complete elimination ofreservations is not possible considering the current politicalscenario. Hence, reservation should be provided to the peoplewho really need it and those people should be trackedregularly. Page 10