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Quota issue: Knowledge panel suggests formula

The vice-chairperson also emphasised that the number of seats for meritorious candidates should not be reduced while extending reservation to the backward castes.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 22:23 IST

National Knowledge Commission (NKC) vice-chairperson PM Bhargava on Thursday proposed a formula to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh aimed at ending the stalemate over the additional caste-based quotas in central educational institutions.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Bhargava suggested the setting up of 400,000 government schools in next 10-15 years to be run by local self-government institutions as neighbourhood schools.

This would provide equal opportunities to children at the secondary level, thus ending the very requirement for reservation, Bhargava said in his letter.

He expressed the hope that this could help in doing away with the reservation completely in about a decade and a half.

The vice-chairperson also emphasised that the number of seats for meritorious candidates should not be reduced while extending reservation to the backward castes.

The government should increase seats in educational institutions by providing additional financial resources, said Bhargava.

He said that the creamy layer among backward castes should not get benefits of reservation.

The government on Tuesday night went ahead with its controversial proposal of enhancing caste-based quotas in higher educational institutions, deciding to implement the proposal to reserve 27 per cent in central educational institutions from June next year.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had constituted the NKC in June 2005 with Sam Pitroda as its chairperson to "sharpen India's knowledge edge" and promote excellence in the education system.

Two of its members, Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Andre Beteille, resigned on Monday, saying quotas in elite institutions would violate the cardinal principles of a knowledge-based society.

First Published: May 25, 2006 22:23 IST