?Quota to benefit only 0.1 per cent? | india | Hindustan Times
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?Quota to benefit only 0.1 per cent?

HRD minister Arjun Singh has proposed 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in centrally-funded educational institutions.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2006 12:54 IST

HRD minister Arjun Singh has proposed 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in centrally-funded educational institutions. Chetan Chauhan talked to P.V. Indiresan, former director of IIT, Chennai, about the questions raised by the minister’s move.

Will the quota help the OBCs significantly? No. Of the 10 million-odd OBC children who reach college admission stage each year, this scheme will help barely 10,000, a mere 0.1 per cent.

Can academic standards be maintained at the present level? No. Any institution that takes students of lower ability has no option but to reduce academic standards. Once reservation is imposed for admissions, logically it will follow for faculty selections too.

In that case, why should world-class teachers join IITs or IIMs when they know they’re liable to be superseded by less able teachers on caste grounds? Once able teachers stay away, quality will go down further. Why shouldn’t these reputed institutions train the reserved candidates and raise them to the required level? Not feasible.

Even the best institution cannot correct 12 years of bad education. Will not this move help poor OBCs? Unlikely. Family incomes of SC/ST students entering IIMs are twice that of general category students.

Very rich SC/STs are monopolising the opportunities offered by reservation to the virtual exclusion of their own poor. Is this not a demonstration of politicians’ concern for the poor? Certainly not.

All parties, without exception, have systematically destroyed education in government schools where the poor study.