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Anger, denial, agony: Mandal Two is here

The re-emegence of the Mandal regime ? the Arjun Singh version ? has not gone down too well with the concerned parties.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2006 17:26 IST

The re-emegence of the Mandal regime — the Arjun Singh version — has not gone down too well with the concerned parties: the teachers and students.

While some lashed out openly against the HRD Ministry’s proposed move to enforce 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in central government-funded higher-education institutes, others were muted in their criticism.

Most felt it would be impossible to drum up the additional resources and faculty needed to cater to the increased student intake that Arjun Singh envisages.

Those who head IITs and IIMs refused to comment — saying they were yet to receive any communication from the government — but several senior functionaries at these institutions were furious.

“Quota is a negative approach,” said Hari Shankar Singhania, chairperson, IIM Lucknow. A teacher said, “By and large everybody agrees that this is a step in the wrong direction.” A senior facul ty member said if the OBC quota was enforced in the IIMs, quality would be the first casualty. Another teacher said efforts were being made to consult other IIMs and take their opinion on the issue.

An IIM Lucknow professor told HT: “If you relax standards to fill quotas, will the students who come in through this reservation be able to cope with the high standards at the IITs and IIMs? Since these students will be of a lower academic standard, the overall standard of education will suffer.” At IIM Ahmedabad, student media representative Rahul Roushan said, “If nearly 50 per cent seats are reserved, competition for entry will become tougher. It’s already very tough to get in here.” But the directors of IIT Delhi, Rajendra Prasad, and IIT Kolkata, Shekhar Chaudhari said they would “comply” if the government goes ahead.

First Published: Apr 11, 2006 09:23 IST