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Students protest against quota proposal

School and college students held a protest on Tuesday against a Government proposal to reserve more seats in education institutions

india Updated: Apr 17, 2006 15:21 IST

School and college students in the capital held a protest on Tuesday against a Government proposal to reserve more seats in education institutions for candidates from backward sections of society.

"Students are being made victims of politics," said Aditya Raj Kaul, a student who recently passed out of school and is waiting for admission into a college.

The students had gathered at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium under the banner of "United Students" to protest Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh's proposal, made public this month, to raise the overall proportion of quotas for students from Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to 49.5 per cent.

"It is election time, and the Government's intention for such an initiative is obvious," said Rishab Gulati, a student of Delhi University. "The Government is only adopting a divide-and-rule policy."

The students vowed to intensify their protest if the Government went ahead with the proposal, which became public ahead of polls to assemblies in five states.

"We have submitted a petition to the president. We hope he also meets us," said Shailey Hingorani, a student activist.

The members of United Students also decided to observe on April 17 as a "Black Day" to protest the quota policy.

They claimed they had mobilised more than 60,000 students across the country though e-mails and SMSs and were planning to go ahead with their "struggle" till the Government scrapped the reservation plan.

First Published: Apr 17, 2006 15:21 IST