Graphic Credits :- Sahil Jain
Every passing year, securing admission in good colleges is getting tougher and tougher. Not for everyone though. If you happen to belong to any of the numerous communities deemed to be underprivileged (SC, OBC etc), all the skill that you’ll require is that of correctly filing a form.
The reservation system has received fervent criticism from all corners but can a country which has historically discriminated against certain minority groups afford not to provide them with opportunities for bettering their status? Or is it that reservations are the wrong way to go about uplifting minorities.
This week, Juxtapose sets the jury out on whether the reservation system is good for the country as a whole. So what are you waiting for? Scroll down and voice your opinions.
Juxtapose: Are reservations in colleges justified?
Show of Hands:
Not Justified: 8
1. Thangchungnung Mangte, Not Justified
I do have a great respect for the founding fathers of our constitution and their empathy towards the underprivileged sections of our society who were discriminated and exploited for hundreds of years. However, if we want to help those people to be able to grow and improve their condition, the very basis of granting reservation should be on the basis of a person’s economic condition. Giving reservation to a caste, tribe etc. will only help those, who are already doing well. A poor dalit or a tribal hardly gets to use the benefit of reservation granted to his/her tribe or caste and instead it is used more by the sons & daughters of, let’s say for example, an IAS officer.
2. Vikas Jaipuria, Not Justified
The ideal situation should have been: Merit alone triumphs! Having sat on a hunger strike when I was in class 8 in AIIMS when this debate broke out in 2006, I have seen the agitation from close quarters. This is a paralytic policy decision, which is far from the principles of equality espoused by our constitution. Sure the weaker sections and minority should be uplifted, but providing reservation in higher education is not the correct means. The government should have created better infrastructure in primary/higher secondary schools in small towns/backward areas. It should have extended the benefit of its social schemes by bringing more OBC’s/SC’S/ST’s under its net. The true effects of this paralytic decision is more evident in DU – OBC’s/SC’s/ST’s from well of families are sitting in top colleges with less than qualifying marks, while hard working students of General category who slogged their ass in class XII are precluded admission (even if they fall short of cutoff by a small whisker!). And we all know in a country like ours where bribing public officials is a cakewalk, no wonder you can get yourself made a fake SC/ST/OBC certificate.
3. Ankita Mukhopadhyay (LSR), Justified
When Dr. B.R Ambedkar formulated the Constitution, little did he foresee the uproar that his policy of reservation for minorities would create once education and literacy became a prime concern for most households in India. I think reservation for minorities is justified, provided there is an income bracket to justify their need for reservation. Reservation has come into the limelight today because of the UPA government’s policy to give preference to the minorities in order to garner more votes. The issue of reservation shouldn’t be a politically contentious issue; it should be more of a moral issue.
People belonging to the Scheduled castes and tribes are still discriminated against today in the villages, and even if a person belonging to the SC/ST or OBC category manages to break the mould and succeed in the corporate segment or any other sector, he/she is always looked down upon by the general candidates as an academically weaker peer. I agree that there are many general category candidates out there who lose out on a seat because of reservation, and economically backward general candidates face a bleak future due to no government support for them, but we should also look into the historical origins of this caste problem. The government should change its policy, and instead of demarcating lower cut offs or marks for SC/ST and OBC candidates, they should evaluate them on an equal level, barring only the fact that they have a quota for themselves. One should look for a solution to the problem, not ponder over it needlessly. We should learn from our forefathers and not continue repeating the mistakes that they committed hundreds of years back.
4. Riddhi Dayal (Sri Venkatswara College), Justified
I think reservation was a justifiable means to be used in the scenario of the caste-system in India, and many people have actually benefited from the same. Therefore, to completely write-off reservation is unjustified. Many students had a problem with the fact that General Category seats would be reduced in number due to reservation, however, that was taken care of by the court order that stated that the total number of seats would be increased to incorporate reserved seats while keeping General category seats constant. Thus, I don’t think its really a big deal.
However, I’d like to clarify that I don’t believe reservation should be continued indefinitely. As with all policies, it should be in practice till one reaches the stage of emancipation of the downtrodden and then be discontinued.
The Verdict: Reservations are neither justified nor beneficial.