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Knowledge panel for status quo on quota

National Knowledge Commission favoured maintaining status quo on quotas for weaker sections of society in educational institutions.

india Updated: May 13, 2006 21:33 IST

The National Knowledge Commission (NKC), set up by the Prime Minister, on Monday favoured maintaining status quo on quotas for weaker sections of the society in central educational institutions.

Six of the eight members on the panel felt status quo should be maintained and reservations should not be extended till more effective avenues of affirmative action were put in place, commission chairman Sam Pitroda said in Bangalore.

“Two other members, who disagreed with the majority view, favoured extending reservations, and one of them supported it with certain conditions,” Pitroda said.
Human Resource Minister Arjun Singh had last month proposed to extend the reservation policy to include Other Backward Classes (OBCs), a move that was met with nationwide protests from students.

In a statement, Pitroda who was in favour of status quo said, though the NKC firmly believed a knowledge society must be socially inclusive, the inclusion must be reflected in educational institutions.

“Historically, we have used the instrument of reservations to achieve this goal. For central institutions, this reservation is currently at 22.5 per cent for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes,” he said.

“We will be submitting the panel’s views on the issue to the Prime Minister for the consideration of the government. We are not against reservation per se, but it should not be at the cost of meritocracy.”