Thursday, April 13, 2006

rambling on reservation for education in premier institutes like IIT in India..

Merit. Everything to be based on merit. Easier said than done I'll say. I'd like to make a statement starting with an example.

I witnessed a very unexpected admission process to a course that's unique to the city Pune, named MCS (Masters in Computer Science). I'm speaking about the academic year 2000 - 2001. Doing this course from any college beyond certain premier colleges was not of any major importance, since all that mattered was placement in the software industry at the end of the course. Software companies did not bother to target colleges beyond the set of premier ones. Number of seats for that course (MCS) per college during that academic year: 40. Number of premier colleges offering MCS in Pune: 3. Total number of seats that the "cream" eyed: 40 * 3 = 120.

Reservations for backward categories, all put together: 50%. The number hit 50% (earlier used to be 48%) because 2% reservation was added for a quota named SBC (Specially Backward Classes). And that particular academic year, an interesting reservation was added. Reservation for girl students. Percentage: 50% of remaining seats after the reservations for backward classes was applied (25% overall). Which meant that male students belonging to OPEN category, had 10 seats available per premier institute, 30 in all. Total number of such male candidates: Well over 1000.

The government came up with this "reservation for girl students" for the engineering and related branch (that covered the B.E. degree and courses like B.Sc, BCS [Bachelors in Computer Science], MCS [Masters in Computer Science]). The reason the goverment gave at that time was that they wanted to encourage girl students to take up engineering courses since the observation was that hardly any girl students were taking up engineering courses (beyond Computer Science). There was such a huge protest against this, that the government was forced to drop this rule after 2 academic batches "suffering" due to it.

While the government had intentions that were good enough, the way they implemented them were certainly not correct. In this case, when we speak of reservations in premier institutes, a vast majority of us would be against reservation system. And some of those from this vast majority would belong to the backward caste as well. What distinguishes those who take any stand then? Their caste? Their thinking? Their ideals? You might end up choosing at least one of the above. But it is not that. It is how successful you are at "this instant" in time. If you are doing pretty well at this point in time, you have all the options to take either side. Ever wondered what happens to those who do not even come close to being asked this question? Who never got that opportunity?

I get extremely weird remarks from well-to-do people about beggars seen at signals. One such remark is "Why do these people beg? They should rather seek work somewhere and make a living". Do not take a potshot at the above statement. I have used it as a metaphor, let me make it very clear.

It makes absolute sense to have the reservation system in place. Being from the open category, I feel no hesitation in saying this. People see a decision being made and make statements for or against it. Look at what is the bigger problem. Its the population explosion that has lead to all this, and will lead to further issues over time in countries like India. You have billions of people to feed, to educate, you have infrastructure to educate only thousands, how the hell is the system going to survive in the first place? And those are ultimately in the race for getting educated, face the problems majorly owing to money. But the solution is not to give scholarships to those who are poor. Those here on this thread should do statistical analysis of who is poor. The majority of them happen to be backward castes. The backward castes have their rich brethren too, but limited. They can never be compared in ratio to the rich people from open category. Till the ratio comes to a somewhat comparable level, there better be reservation. You'll often find the politicians in India exploiting the time period at which such issues are raised. I won't consider that here though.

I have an extremist stand for countries like India. There is a genealogy project going on in some university on this Earth (most probably in Europe or US). All Indians should submit their blood samples to that project, and only those with the better* gene should be allowed to live. All others should be put to death (I personally dont mind if it includes myself given the fact that I am making this statement).

* better gene: a gene pattern that would have maximum positives. In other words, least negatives. That way, those contributing to gene pool degradation will be eliminated.


At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get extremely weird remarks from well-to-do people about beggars seen at signals. One such remark is "Why do these people beg? They should rather seek work somewhere and make a living". Do not take a potshot at the above statement. I have used it as a metaphor, let me make it very clear.

Please can you make this more clear? What do you exactly mean? Why shouldn't beggars try to get a decent job for themselves one which involves physical labor say?

At 2:44 AM, Blogger vindy said...

nike that gene pool thing u said. Stop being an extremist.

At 6:14 AM, Blogger Aniket Anikhindi said...

@anonymous: you are trying to coerce me into replying to the very thing that i had said that no one should take a potshot at. the only question you can ask related to that is how i used it as a metaphor in this case. i would simply say that this post is dipping with sarcasm. is this good enough a hint?

@vindy: well yeah, the gene pool thing was conceptual you see. it seems this has been already tried that in Germany, but seemingly that experiment did not really succeed. moreover, it isnt exactly possible to splice the genes and retain only the good part (or remove the bad part) owing to the fact that genes are strongly linked, meaning factors which bring about good are more often than not coupled with bad. and genetic transplatation would probably prove too costly even for the entire world's economy put together, as per a quote from one of my friend who happens to know more on this. so this extremism will have to be forgone :(

At 12:35 PM, Blogger vindy said...

hail Cotly trasnplant :)

At 12:35 PM, Blogger vindy said...

I meant costly :P

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Peace said...

Thank you for dropping by my blog and taking your precious time to drop me a few lines. This is a cool blog! : )

At 7:53 PM, Blogger camelpost said...

I challenge the concerned jokers to go ahead with 50% Reservation for not only students but also for teaching staff. Its better that Government builds one more IIT and IIM and call them RIIT and RIIM (R stands for you know what) and let others live in peace and maintain their standards. RIIT and RIIM may be put under AICTE for added glory. It will be wiser for the government to offer the best of education from primary education and make them face the world rather than give them feel of artificial security by reservation.

Naam Arjun Raknewala sab Yudh nahi jeeet saktein
aur IIT IIM koi Kurushetra bi nahi hein
Na is Arjun ke paas koi Krishn bhi hai
Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya Sathuskratham
Dharma samsdha banarthaya sambavami yuge yuge
Tora Tora Tora

At 7:07 PM, Blogger camelpost said...

The Choice is Clear:

The terminology to refer handicapped persons have been changed to Physically challenged persons. Why cannot the SC ST BC OBC XYZ be called Economically challenged persons. That will atleast give an apparent feeling of casteless society. The other suggestion is categorize society into BPL and APL meaning Below Poverty Line and Above Poverty Line and tax the APL to pay for BPL. There are thousand intelligent ways of addressing the problem and one idiotic way i.e reservation based on caste lines.

At 12:21 AM, Blogger Aniket Anikhindi said...

@camelpost: I beg of you, no more tax :(

At 4:03 PM, Anonymous barbarindian said...

Great blog!

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Storm said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Storm said...


You really need to do a bit more research here. Ranting is fine, but what you really want to do is to analyse the situation if you want to be taken seriously.

You might want to read Falstaff's views on the topic here:


At 11:54 PM, Blogger Aniket Anikhindi said...

@Manjit: I know what you are trying to say. I'd request you to read the 3rd comment to this post.

At 7:58 AM, Blogger mr bojangles said...

nice train of thought.. those alive will finally realize procreation to be the only purpose of all existence.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger camelpost said...

IITs and IIMs will remain Institutions of the government by the government and for the government. One day MHRD may passa resolution stating that each MP is entitled for an IIT or IIM seat as the MPs are serving the nation. On the contrary take the case of BITS Pilani. In the year 2000, BITS Pilani put up a campus at DUBAI. In the year 2004, BITS Pilani commissioned a campus at Goa. In the year 2007 BITS Pilani is spearheading a campus at Hyderabad. Name one IITor IIM which broke the governmental shell and did something like BITS Pilani could do. Every one knows the famous IIM and IIT wanting to set up a Sing apore Campus. Well the song was over long back. We are left only with the National Anthem.

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God for comment#3.
I was beginning to wonder what you were on =P

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Amit K said...

Anyone seen the movie Gattaca ? Surely you don't wan't parents manipulating Genes and create a superior race over the existing relatively inferior ones.

Reservations are fine. But the eligibility criteria is not correct. Think of professions like Medicine, Judiciary and Social services. Errors due to lack of intellectual thinking in such professions cost people their lives. Errors in engineering world too can cause loss. For eg shoddy work done on public projects like Bridges, Dams, Railways and Electrical power projects? Achieving equilibrium in a society is a good noble thought, but sadly not possible. Any means tried will throw up their own side effects over time. Poor people, homeless and hungry souls, financially weak all exist in every section of the society and every civilization. Be it US, Europe, China or Africa.
Remember, all of us are PRODUCTS OF OUR PAST. We live a life for what we have been destined to.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger Aniket Anikhindi said...

@amit k: you seem to have put the situation in precise light. you therefore stated the "what" part of the equation. any clues about solving the "how" part of the equation? in other words, any possible solutions you would like to suggest?

At 12:22 AM, Anonymous amit K said...

Suggestions after i become GOD.

At 12:44 AM, Blogger Aniket Anikhindi said...

Great Oppressive Dictator?

At 1:50 AM, Blogger Memoryking said...

Liked your blog. Here is mine "No! Let’s join the self-proclaimed snobs protesting with slogans “Remember your place”, polishing shoes and cleaning premises? Let’s pretend not to see it at all! Damn Reservations!"


Post a Comment

<< Home