Friday, May 26, 2006

Quota/Reservations: More ""Reserved" than Others

Suddenly, the "OBC reservations" has opened the Pandora's Box.

The popular view (among the urban middle-class educated people) is that "quota" is bad - and dilutes the "merit"...

Frankly, I also became aware of the various kinds of "quotas" that exist to access the "temples of higher education" in India across the states. Most have been accepted (er...why???) as a given - and, to my knowledge no candle march or hunger strike ever took place against these!!

...that is, till the "OBC quota" came up, and opened a Pandora's Box.... here is a list:

  • All India Quota

  • State Quota: varies upto 25%... that allows one to skip the all India "merit" criteria and get an admission due to domicile status. It is not very difficult to get the domicile certificate, really;0)

  • Management Quota: around 15%.... Govt/ SC has been trying to squash it, but it still does give one an opportunity to get into an un-aided private college - if one can pay the money!

  • NRI Quota: small in number but allows one to slip past the criteria of "merit" if some rich relative abroad can sponsor one's education

  • Sportsman Quota, Army Quota, etc.

    The Quota Trophy, paradoxically, goes to AIIMS:

    While the AIIMS medicos go on hunger photogenic strike against the "reservations" (what with celebrity endorsement from Nafisa Ali and Shiv Khera)... there is no mention that 25% seats in the AIIMS PG course are "reserved" for AIIMS graduates).

    Just quoting from a news item in TOI:

    "25% reservation that AIIMS graduates get in PG admission and the Supreme Court judgment of 2001 that declares the earlier system of 33% reservation for them bad in law...

    The HC had found that "AIIMS students, who had secured as low as 14% or 19% or 22% in the (all-India) entrance examination got admission to PG courses while SC or ST candidates could not secure admission in their 15% or 7% quota in PG courses, in spite of having obtained marks far higher than the in-house candidates of the institute." HC had analysed admission data over five years.

    The apex court also agreed with the HC that the "figure of 33% reservation for in-house candidates was statistically so arrived at as to secure 100% reservation for AIIMS students. There were about 40 AIIMS candidates. The PG seats being 120, 33% thereof worked out to be 40." That meant all 40 AIIMS graduates were assured of PG seats.

    Merit here was clearly being sacrificed, the study showed...

    ....Twelve AIIMS candidates were selected even though they got less marks than the SC candidate who secured 60.33% marks. Similarly, 16 AIIMS students got admission to PG courses even though they got less marks than another ST student who got 62.16%.



    Anonymous said...

    i would like to point out that author of TOI has not done his homework well, he just wanted to add fuel to fire.
    1-50 % marks are essential to qualyfy
    2-while quota on caste basis is implimented branch wise, but AIIMS in house quata is implemented in such a way that 75 % off all seats r first filled on GC merit list and then remaining 25 % seats (which does not include any of the clinical branches, and hence nobody cares) are offered to inhouse candidate which allmost all of them refuse and converted to GC seats in second if any in-house cand happens to be doing PG in AIIMS its because of his rank in GC merit list

    Mugger Much said...

    Thanks for highlighting the AIIMS PG quota; it's a prominent example showing how access to a reservation-based seat in premier educational institutions has a high correlation with the stifling of ambition and excellence. As successive generations of AIIMS graduates utilised the quota to enter the PG course, their motivation towards mastery of the entrance requirements steadily decayed, until the Supreme Court had to step in.
    Nice post. I thank you for it.

    sami said...

    Ah, nice post. My main reservation with the current agitations by the medicos is that the very nature of their protests makes a debate at a larger scale impossible. Reservation quotas are not a new concept in India; we need a bigger discussion on this than just taking to the streets.

    Thanks for the useful information.

    Neetha said...

    Even though the agitating medicos profess they are not against any caste, their casteist mentality is evident in the form of protest and even the jokes circulating on email lists.
    For example in one instance medicos swept the road and in another, ploughed fields and claimed that they will be forced to do such "undignified jobs" if the reservation goes through. This is a perfect example where upper castes in India think that certain jobs are meant for lower castes.
    If the present generation is not bothered about caste, why is it that even on an US campus, I frequently find Indians who go to lengths to describe the jaath and the merits of upper caste clans?

    Arun said...

    Information is an eye opener.
    I am trying to host a web site to address the College/University quota's system. To start with the site basically will have all the universities and its affiliated colleges with offered courses and number of seats. The information can be expanded as we go on. Further, I haven’t found any one site that deals with this quota issue.

    I am looking for participation where by the participants can themselves maintain the data by universities/colleges. Can anyone help get me in touch with the protester panel?

    bumbledoor said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    bumbledoor said...

    For all your ranting and raving about PG quota for AIIMS graduates, it has been declared unconstitutional by the Honourable Supreme court. However, considering the argument of institutional continuity - practiced by almost all major universities in India- it has granted that the graduates from AIIMS be preferred over others for admission on 25% non-descipline wise seats. In effect what we get through AIIMS quota are non-clinical seats which nobody really wants.
    If you want to really witness the "cold-blooded murder of merit"just go through the PG entrance examination results of AIIMS for July 2006 session. This is an all India examination open to all medical graduates including THE BRILLIANT AND INDUSTRIOUS SC/ST STUDENTS FROM THE SOUTHERN STATES BLAZING THE TRAIL IN PROVIDING QUOTAS.
    The result can be accessed here-
    On the right are everybody ranks as per open merit.just look at the pathetic ranks secured by SCs. And I am not even talking about the STs.The seat ditribution for various categories can be accessed here-
    The institute normally publishes a merit listing of candidates numbering 3-4 times of the available seats. This ensures that the that 4 out of the 6 AIIMS graduates making it to the merit list would not be getting seats, as there ranks are below 50 which is the total number of available seats.( calling another of your bluffs!).
    Now,what deprivation and backwardness can these reserved category candidates claim in the medical colleges where they studied beside their "previliged counterparts". They studied under the same teachers, used the same libraries, ate from the same mess, stayed in the same hostels. I hope the informed author enlightens me about the alternate perspective to the poser.

    Birju Maharaj said...

    Lets agree that there is a lot left undone at the grass roots level. We definitely need quotas, but not in institues of higher learning. But I wish to draw your attention to a slightly different yet disturbing issue.

    Media in this whole episode has played a biased role. It has since day one taken sides. This is not the role of the media. Media is a very important flag bearer of any democracy. It just so happens it suits me this time around and so I don't bother.

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