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Quota will damage India's BPO pace

This, in turn, would shift outsourcing to the competing countries like Brazil, China, Israel, Eastern Europe and the South-East Asian countries.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2006 17:32 IST
UNI

India's aim to become a manufacturing services outsourcing hub could be quashed if admission to prestigious institutions like the IIMs and IITs are based on a caste quota rather than students' merit, ASSOCHAM said on Monday.

"It is unfortunate that the government wants to promote and increase the reservation in the reputed Central Universities, engineering colleges and institutions like the IIMs and IITs at a time when India is fast emerging as a top quality global hub for outsourcing, both in the services and the manufacturing sector," Associated Chambers of commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) President Anil K Agarwal said in Delhi.

In the wake of the recent controversy surrounding the increase in reservation of seats in professional colleges and universities, the Chamber said it was but natural, that if half the students were given admissions without merit, the quality of students passing out of these institutions would not match the global standard.

This, in turn, would shift outsourcing to the competing countries like Brazil, China, Israel, Eastern Europe and the South-East Asian countries, it added.

"The jobs moving to the Indian BPOs, KPOs (Knowledge Process Outsourcing), global R&D centres and the manufacturing facilities -- in automobile, pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery, software development and bio-technology -- would divert to our competitors. If the government goes ahead with the proposed hike in seat reservation, we may be faced with a situation where there would not be enough jobs left for the pass-outs from these colleges," Mr Agarwal said.

The trend of the multi-national companies lining up for placements from our colleges may reverse, if quota prevails over merit, he added.

Suggesting another approach to the issue, he said an increase in the number of professional colleges and universities was the answer to empower the socially and economically backward classes.

Besides, students from the backward classes should be given monetary help to advance their skills and faculty to compete with other meritorious students.

"We know not many students from the backward classes can afford the coaching classes in the private sector. The government can tie up with these coaching centres, bearing part of the tuition fee for the students from the weaker sections. Once they are empowered to compete along with their peers from socially upper class, the social divide would become meaningless," Mr Agarwal said.