Saturday, April 12, 2008

Reservation Quotas

Back after a long time. Seems like a different life. There have been too many happenings, so many changes.

It took some introspection on my part to answer the question, "Why dont I blog regularly?". I like writing.I havent been blogging very often, so it cannot be a case of "Writer's Block".The no of people reading my blog has never affected me, so why?

Guess its in the nature of a Piscean not to be too open.Maybe because I had decided that this blog would not deal with social issues,computer games,anime so on & so forth.However, that condition no longer applies.So I am hoping to blog a lot more often (fingers crossed).

So what have I been upto lately.I quit my job(That's why the change of blog title).Not that I got another offer or something.I just wasnt finding it fulfilling enough and frankly speaking it had become very monotonous.It just felt right to end that association.So I am now jobless by choice and on a sabbatical trying to get my life into perspective.

But the best news of the past 1 year or maybe longer is that one of the things on my bucket list is taken care of. Actually three if you count "Attending a live Iron Maiden Concert" and "Finishing a Death-By-Chocolate ice-cream all by myself".Now only about a thousand more to go. But getting back to the third thing......

The third thing was getting a Macbook Pro.Yeah people, I am now the proud owner of Marvin i.e. my new Macbook Pro. For those who cannot make the connection, the name comes from the Paranoid Android in Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy.C3PO and R2D2 were also close runners but Marvin's dry humor and sarcasm is unmatched.

However, this post is not intended to be about me.But being the narcissist that I am, couldnt help mentioning the few most important things.

Reservation. The buzz word for the past 2 years.Ever since Arjun Singh proposed 27% reservation of OBC, the nation (atleast the youth) have been up in arms."Dilution of brands","Unfair treatment" etc etc are the reasons being given.

Lets get this thing clear first of all. A nation which differentiates between individuals on the basis of birth might never achieve the true greatness it is capable of .Ability should be the sole criteria on which a person should be judged.Anything else race,sex,birthplace etc etc just brings down the standards and nothing else.

Not to say that I am against reservation.It is a well known fact that a discrimination in terms of opportunities has been there.If some people have borne the brunt of this discrimination, they fully have the right to demand preferential treatment elsewhere.

But as always, a good idea doesnt necessarily translate into a good implementation.Reservation has steadily become a way of gaining votes.

If I m not too wrong, there was a 22.5% reservation for SC/ST candidates in JEE 2002. Add 27% reservation for OBC and you have 49.5% reservation in IITs(I might be wrong here so any corrections are appreciated).So only about half the people in IITs would be able to say that "I am here on my merit, nothing else"? Now being an IITian I can say that the biggest differentiator between IITs and rest of the engineering institutions in the country is JEE.With a selection of about 8000 people out of 250,000, the IITs can very well stake the claim to having the Crème de la crème of the country (There is a minority who do get through on pure luck e.g. yours truly but that debate is for another day).Tampering with the selection process is pure blasphemy.So how about free competition for selection.Once a candidate proves himself to be worthy of a seat in an IIT, he can be given whatever the Govt wants.Low fees, all books, scholarship anything.

But if the Govt wants to continue like this, I have one request. Can we please have a heading on the gradesheets as well as the final degree which states the category of the candidate? If a candidate has the guts to mark a small circle on the OMR in the entrance form, he should very well have the courage to stand up for his decision.Sounds fair?
I am ready to bet that no candidate under reserved category will agree. After all, it would hit their credentials that they did not compete fairly which would translate into less opportunities to go abroad for further education,reluctance on the part of Private recruiters, so on & so forth.
Ohh wait, but the Govt is contemplating reservation in Pvt Sector too.They do have the best of minorities at their hearts.Who cares about the majority anyway.

SC (One of the few places in the country where logic & good of the people seems to prevail) has passed the bill with a few reservations (Pun unintended). The creamy layer cant take benefit of reservations. Totally agree. If one generation in a family has made use of the reservations for their upliftment,it shouldnt be allowed to do so anymore.
No reservations in post graduation.Again, agree. Once a person has gotten into top college for graduation on the basis of reservation,he shouldnt be allowed to use it for post graduation but this is where the loopholes begin.IIMs do not offer a post graduate degree. They offer PGDM i.e. Post Graduate Diploma in Management which holds its own against any MBA.BUT Govt might be able to claim that IIMs give out diplomas & force them to accept the reservation too.Lets wait & watch on this.
One observation on the part of SC that had me laughing was that the no of communities under OBC has steadily gone up since independence.So either the Govt discovers new communities which they didnt know existed OR the whole "India Shining" is a sham while in reality India is steadily declining in terms of social equality.

The statistic that I would really like to know is the
(No of Selections in general category)/(No of people appearing in general category) and
(No of Selections in Reserved)/(No of people appearing in reserved category)
to get a clearer picture.

All said & done, reservation in its current format is flawed. There are students in IIT Roorkee planning a "No CAT 2008" campaign. People think its their loss.I beg to differ.Talent will come out on its own.It doesnt depend on the institute, conditions or the country.And they blame us for Brain Drain....

As a sign of respect to my readers, no football (& no its not because of the fact that Real Madrid is out of CL), no cricket (not because of India's horrible loss) and no anime (not because Itachi Sama is no longer with us. R.I.P. Itachi sama.U'll always be in our hearts.sniff sniff)

Disclaimer: Couldnt help the last para.After all such things do define my blog.Topic might be serious but I hate being serious for one whole post.If some of that stuff is Greek to you, I apologize for spoiling ur serious mood

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