Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Alternative Perspective" on Reservations/ OBC/ Merit/ Quota/ Discrimination, etc

Today the Supreme Court gave the verdict upholding the 27% reservations for the OBCs in IITs, IIMs and other Central educational institutions but excluded the creamy layer (i.e., the children of constitutional functionaries including the President, judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, members of the Union Public Service Commission, Groups A and B or Class I or II officers of the All-India Central and State services and children of public sector employees) from the benefit.

Just thought it appropriate to share the past 14-15 postings on:

Alternative Perspective on Reservation, meritocracy, OBC quota, etc.
(click to access)

To me, rightly or wrongly, this makes perfect sense... After all, you have to change the system to change the human dynamics in that system.

However, lest the "manufactured merit" churned out by the coaching centers feel that "their" rightful seats (due to the freak circumstances of their birth, and the coaching institutes) are being taken away from them, here is a clarification:

    "In the 2007-08 budget, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram allocated Rs.26.98 billion for central educational institutions under the HRD ministry providing for 54 percent increase in the number of seats.

    According to officials, in the budget for 2008-09 an allocation of about Rs.25.22 billion has been made for central universities - IITs, IIMs, NITs etc, for the purpose.

    Following protests from various quarters, an Oversight Committee recommended a 54 percent expansion (over three years) in central educational institutions so that the number of general seats is not reduced."

The SC judgement vindicates what Michael Young - who coined the term Meritocracy - wrote in 2001 (I had quoted it earlier):

    "It is good sense to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit. It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others.

    Ability of a conventional kind, which used to be distributed between the classes more or less at random, has become much more highly concentrated by the engine of education.

    A social revolution has been accomplished by harnessing schools and universities to the task of sieving people according to education's narrow band of values.

    With an amazing battery of certificates and degrees at its disposal, education has put its seal of approval on a minority, and its seal of disapproval on the many who fail to shine from the time they are relegated to the bottom streams.... The new class has the means at hand, and largely under its control, by which it reproduces itself."

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