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Abdul Kalam’s son will not have reservation…!!! Funniest headline ever !! July 20, 2006

Posted by gantech in Reservation Issues.
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I am sorry and accept that I have not been quite closely following the happenings in the Quota issue….and hence this seems a surprise to me..

AFAIK.. the creamy layer clause wasn’t there in the first place..


I don’t know why IBNlive decided to highlight the fact that children of the President are excluded from the reserved category, when the last paragraph seems to be affecting a million more people. And what a comedy to have put Abdul Kalam’s photo.. who isn’t married in the first place.. !!!


Children of President, Vice-President and judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts fall under the ‘creamy layer’ among OBCs under the criteria fixed for exclusion from reservation in civil posts and services.

As per the criteria announced on Wednesday, children of members of the UPSC and State Public Service Commission, Chief Election Commissioner, Comptroller and Auditor
General of India and persons holding Constitutional positions of this nature also fall under the creamy layer category.

Under the criteria, persons having gross annual income of Rs 2.5 lakh or above or possessing wealth above the exemption limit as prescribed in the Wealth Act for a period of three consecutive years are also excluded.


Reservation Issues – Frontline May 14, 2006

Posted by gantech in Reservation Issues.
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I am beginning to love this magazine. The "April 22 – May 5" issue had a series of 5 articles on the reservation issue (that was the cover story), each discussing various aspects ranging from the sociological and historical perspective to the Legal issues involved. Too bad I read these too late. But I guess it's OK ! !


Logical step
by P.S. Krishnan

This one discusses The socio-historical and constitutional perspective and imperatives of the proposed Bill

So… the history of reservations.. dates back much before what I actually thought.

The process of reservation in education began in 1902 in the small princely state of Kolhapur, for Backward Classes – covering the present BCs, SCs and other non-Brahmin castes that are not in the post-Constitution lists of BCs.

An important Legal point.. it's not just economic backwardness that the government is targeting at but something else..

The Mandal judgment also held that, for purposes of inclusion in lists of SEdBCs, economic backwardness/poverty is relevant only if and when it arises from social backwardness, and that economic backwardness per se is not a criterion for identification of a class as backward in accordance with the Constitution. In view of this definitive judgment, it is futile and ignorant to argue that Backward Classes should be identified only on the basis of economic criteria or individual poverty. That is not the constitutional scheme. In fact the Supreme Court struck down the clause added by the Congress government in 1991 to the National Front government's order of 1990 providing 10 per cent reservation for the "economically poor".

But that's one point that I fail to understand. If a Dalit is poor and wants to study .. he'll be helped.. but if a Brahmin wants to study.. he won't .. (atleast that's what this picture seems to convey).. I can say with confidence that the temple priests today are not very well off.. infact I myself know people who are miserable and my own father has helped them. So why are they not entitled to reservation.. just because they supressed the "lower castes" so many years ago.. is it necessary to subject them to this treatment..??? I feel they are no different from the people that the government is trying to "rescue" today..

The same old story.. Mandal did suggest much more than just reservation.

The Mandal Commission contained many recommendations in addition to job reservation. It also recommended reservation of seats in educational institutions (apart from recommendations on land reforms, land distribution, tenurial reforms, cottage and small industries, training, economic development, rural development and so on). Reservation of seats in educational institutions had already been implemented long back in the peninsular States, and subsequently by some other States, but not by the Centre.

This was a point which I failed to understand initially.

There is an argument that shows its head whenever there is a proposal to give reservation to SEdBC (and SC and ST). This is that what these communities require is not reservation in higher education but good education from the earliest stages. The argument makes it appear as though the SC, ST and SEdBC categories have no interest in pursuing good education. But the fact of the matter is that these communities are as conscious of the need for and thirsty for good education as any
other community. But it is beyond their reach on account of the role most of them are cast in by their birth.

Another very important point

.. what is now proposed to be done is at the least 12 years late. Nobody should have been taken by surprise, for after the Mandal judgment this was bound to come sooner or later. It is not really a bolt from the blue. All along, the National Commission for BCs, national and State conferences of BCs, and Members of Parliament have been calling for this.

The basic premise is that reservation of jobs without reservation in education is illogical, for the latter is necessary to prepare the ground for the former. Not providing for reservation in any sector/part of education is an admission that the
Government of India does not intend to ensure fulfilment of reservation in jobs in the sector of employment related to the sector of education in which reservation is not provided. There should be no mismatch between the percentages of reservation of jobs and reservation in education.

This article by examining the history of reservation actually pulls the sting out of the protests that accuse politicians of pulling vote banks.This has been in existence since long and many upper caste people at the helm (including Nehru) themselves have felt the need for reservations to bring about a social equality.

An impression is sought to be created by some learned commentators that the SEdBC/OBC/BC groups are not a legitimate constitutional category for reservation or that reservation for them is an after-thought owing its origin entirely to the electoral and personal ambitions of one or the other politician. Neither the history of reservation from the beginning of the 20th century nor the specific provisions of the
Constitution justify these abominable suggestions.

Southern record

A point to be noted.. the southern state's reactions have been much more subdued.. Is it because of our inherent nature or because of the reservation system working for good here and we getting used to it.. I somehow believe in the latter and agree with the authors.

THE controversy over the proposed Bill to introduce reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in educational institutions has been characterised by a number of arguments against the proposal. Broadly, they have been that "reservation militates against merit and excellence" and that it harms "the interests of other communities, especially the economically weaker sections among the
upper castes". There is also the fervent contention that the system of reservations does not actually help the weaker sections among the OBCs and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (S.C. and S.T.) since the benefits are cornered by the affluent among them. The sum total of the arguments is that reservations in institutions of higher, professional education such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) would be nothing short of a sociological disaster.

Ironically, this line of reasoning has been most vehemently advanced from regions that have no real or concrete exposure to reservation in the education sector. This includes the majority of North Indian States. In contrast, in the four South Indian
States as well as in Maharashtra and Gujarat, which have had varying degrees of experience in this regard, the opposition is marginal or absolutely nil. The overwhelming opinion among people in these States, and even in "excellence-pursuing" academic circles, supports the principle and practice of reservation. More important, the system seems to have got so embedded in the education sector in almost all these States that the reaction is notably balanced.


This article has an interesting point which I thought I must bring out…

On August 7, 1990, the then Prime Minister V.P. Singh announced the government's acceptance of the Mandal Report in Parliament, reminding the nation that the Constitution envisaged that socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs) be identified, their difficulties removed and their conditions improved in terms of
Article 340 (1) read with Article 14(4) as well as Article 16(4) of the Constitution. The government decided to adopt, in the first phase, the castes common to both the Mandal list and lists prepared by a number of States, and introduced 27 per cent reservation for the SEBCs (the constitutional term for OBCs) in services under the Government of India and PSUs.

The reservation policy of 27 per cent for OBCs, V.P. Singh announced, would not be extended to educational institutions, and that it would continue for 10 years at the end of which it would be reviewed, even though the Mandal Commission had
recommended reservation in educational institutions and a 20-year duration for the policy.

Why did V.P. Singh depart from the Mandal report? Was it aimed to stop the snowballing of the popular agitation against his announcement? Or did he think it was more important to consolidate the gains of reservation in public services than introducereservation in educational institutions, which were likely to fuel
students' protests?

An answer to this may perhaps be found in the Mandal report itself: "An essential part of the battle against social backwardness is to be fought in the minds of the backward people. In India, government service has always been looked upon as a symbol of prestige and power. By increasing the representation of OBCs in government services, we give them an immediate feeling of participation in the governance of this country."

With the onset of the era of liberalisation and minimal governance, the erstwhile symbol of prestige and power might have lost its sheen; hence the increased stakes in the seats in professional educational institutions which offer opportunities for a successful career in the private sector.

And finally last but not the least.. There's one point in reservation that I have never understood.. My understanding of reservation is that the government is trying to make the actual numbers in any place equal to the demographic fractions prevailing there.. Fine.. no probs.. but why should the people who have reservations get in through the unreserved category as well.. Aren't you actually blocking people who don't have reservations by this way.. ????

Reservation Issue.. a journalist’s experiences and views May 11, 2006

Posted by gantech in Reservation Issues.
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The Experiences of a journalist who covered the "Reservations" issue both now and then.. An interesting read.

Anirudh Bhattacharyya's Blog

At first he puts down the most common reactions to the "r" word..

The Congress, in its present avatar as the lead party of the many-headed UPA, is attempting to make political capital out of reservations. And the focus is on the IITs, the IIMs, NGOs, and jobs in the private sector. So, the party that once protested Mandal finds it convenient to mine it for near-term electoral gains in 2006.

And, frankly, this could be terrible timing. Corporate India is surging ahead, foreign investors are glorifying the Indian economy. So, the reaction to the political posturing from representatives of Indian companies at a business conference in Chicago was understandably tentative.

So, this is all wrong, right? Maybe not.

And then he unleashes everything that reservation is about in a nice and crisp manner..

The Government is nudging industry to wake up, to absorb the reality of the social mix India is. If industry doesn't respond quickly, the underlying message seems to be, they may just be forced to comply with a sarkari diktat.

Well.. all I can say is that I liked the last few words..

As for me, I hope that 16 years later, I don't have to deal with the word "reservations" unless it's to take my wife out to dinner.

This one sweeps all the Reservation issues to the background… Life at stake!! April 27, 2006

Posted by gantech in Reservation Issues.
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This one story beats all reservation issues.. and what’s worse.. this was told to me by a German… i just can’t believe the fact that an IIT Almunus was involved as well. The most horrible thing that i have ever seen.

Actually when i was discussing with my friend on this issue, i was saying “God knows what they’ll do next…prob some Agni Pravesh or something…!!! ” .. and you know how my friend reacted to this.

“about that walking on fire…if you were to insinuate that this were a necessary step to clearing iit-jee, junta in andhra woiuld readily consign their children to the flames, if needed

Well I guess that “Andhra” was just to share his thoughts.. no personal mockery meant.. but I some how feel that statement was true (neglecting andhra)..anyways..Although the article states that no parent was involved in this.. I am sure… many would take a cue from this and go on.. and make their children do the same..God save them.. !!! poor pple.. What’s next !!! ???

Reservation issues April 11, 2006

Posted by gantech in Reservation Issues.

This piece (from Nanopolitan ) hit me like hell !!! I never thought along these lines before..!!!

Some of the television anchors have started off on `preserving the brand equity of the IITs'
angle. This is an argument that I always find infuriating. All these decades, while the government went about funding the IITs and the IITs went about their business, nobody took any major notice of the IITs. Suddenly, in the era of L-P-G (liberalization, privatization, globalization), when it is established that here is a GOVERNMENT institution that did exceedingly well (for whatever reason), the private sector boys would like to claim it as their own. The brand equity argument is one way to do it, denying the public institutional character of the IITs etc., treating them as if they were some private sector enterprise, that set about achieving some corporate mission. None of them would ever have had the patience for anything like the IITs or the IIMs.
In the case of the IIMs, matters have been pushed to a point, that their corporate interests on their boards, is virtually trying to takeover these institutions and subvert their public character.

True… I didn't realise this because I was on this side .. I feel like I have been enlightened or something !!

But does that mean IIT's give up what they have been and behaving like other PSU's ??? A debatable point.. but certainly not by me !!!!! I am not talking on this.. as long as I don't get a concrete idea as to how people are suffering under discrimination…How many people are affected by this ?? and it's effect..!!

If my own friends (Aswin and Kmap ) can't stand what I have been blabbering all along (more due to wrong choice of words though), I wonder how would I have escaped hurting others.

Quotas in IITS !!!!! April 3, 2006

Posted by gantech in Reservation Issues.

I was bit by this in Anna Univ.. escaped it when I wrote the JEE.. (yes the reservation for SC/ST's did exist.. about 22% ..but unfortunately..or fortunately.. not many came..atleast that's as far as I know )

Now… for OBC's.. BC's.. the figure rising to a staggering 50 % and what's worse.. from what I see in the media.. caste based reservation for Profs..!!!!!!! Gosh..!!!!! .. does Arjun Singh have anything inside his brain.. or is it all just mud.. or is he being compelled..Don't they like anything good surviving for some time.. Arey IIT's are not Oceans.. where you put any kind of junk.. and it'll still not make a difference..Even Oceans will react after some limit…
See Prof. P.V.Indiresan reacting here.

A TOI post here.. whoever wrote it.. and this is the most frightening.. it says the law could have been modified to accomodate the reservations the upcoming academic year itself..

An recent IBN Live post here..

Reader speak at IBN LIVE – here and here

I accept again.. large scale politics and economics still doesn't make sense to me.. I'll never be able to understand the basic requirement for reservations.. and probably it does make sense on such a large scale and is helping people out there.. but my personal experiences have been otherwise..Most of whom I have met from the these castes have never shown an interest in Academics.. (not to mention many from my own..so am not differentiating or discriminating anybody here) So my whole point is make it just merit based.. and as some body pointed it out in IBN Reader speak.. spend the very same money that the government plans to spend here on improving infrastructure in the primary and secondary levels.

I personally feel the basic difference between the IIT's and the other colleges.. is it's faculty and students.. basically the people who run it. The moment you spoil that.. the quality is sure to come down.. already the faculty are complaining as to the reduction in the quality of students who are being admitted.. we are all exam trained.. have absolutely no interest in Academics.. (except for a select few. and I just hope I am one of them) and want to get work done without putting in effort.. which is equivalent to violating the second law of thermodynamics.. just not possible boss..etc etc etc.. and I feel many of these arguments are valid.. you can't expect them to teach some body who is not interested in learning ..

And here in IIT Madras.. gult gumbals, tam gumbals, northie gumbals are already taking shape.. though there is some cross interaction.. these gumbals are beginning to affect our lives more deeply.. be it the politics of student elections.. or the ever popular Shaastra and Saarang Core and Co-ordships.. This will only add to the fire.. and it's very easy for a politician to catch up to this discrimination which is bound to happen some where or the other.(no system is perfect).. and make a big hue out of this.

And finally.. if Prof. P.V.Indiresan feels reservations are not correct.. then I feel happy that my view is not likely to be wrong.. though the reasons given may be different or outright foolish.. !!!!!