ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

The Verdict: What it means

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They say the fight is over. Yet after two years of struggle nobody knows who the winner is? Perhaps the time will have to decide. Hon’ble Supreme Court of India have upheld 27% reservation for OBC’s in elite education institutes. Our HRD minister has called it an historic judgment, a verdict which has vindicated him. Opposing student unions have called on to revive the struggle. Different people: Different views. I would like to put to pen a couple of points which I deem quite intriguing.

  • Financial Burden on the Government

Moily committee report suggested increasing the seats in higher education institutes by 54%. This was to keep the number of general category seats intact. A huge financial burden was predicted. Lately we have seen an unprecedented hiking of the fees by IIM’s up to 250% with IIT’s soon to follow suite up to 100%. The increase in revenue generated from the tuition fees from general category students seems to compensate for the said financial burden for now (I don’t have the exact figures). The only financial burden that seems probable is by the setting up of new IITs, IIMs, which sure is an investment rather than an outright expenditure.

  • Keeping away the creamy layer

This term often intrigued me a bit. Time and again, I have tried to grasp the length and breadth of it. What I concur is that introducing this clause in the verdict seems a bit of a compromise between the Govt. and the SC. Contrary to the popular notion; it might not help in increasing the level of students being admitted via quota. Cutoffs will decrease further. No doubt about that. According to the belief among the intelligentsia it would at least help replacing the privileged duffers by the underprivileged strugglers.

I have used “duffers” as a general notion. It’s not that they have got no brains. It’s just that the urge to succeed seems lacking, when everything is catered to. Maybe the ones who are underprivileged would try a bit more than their privileged counterparts who were lacking a reason to.

  • Additive Reservation

You would find me an advocate of the reservation (not based on caste), as the affirmative action. What I strictly abhor is an additive one. Once propelled via reservation, why a subject be allowed to reap it time and again? Doing away with it would further help to distribute the resources equally among all needful. Most important of it all, it might motivate them enough to work hard at their first and only chance. The motivation might even help them outperform their general category colleagues, paving a path for doing away with the reservation in the long term.

  • Shape of the future struggle?

I remember representing IITG at a Youth for Equality meet during summer ’06 in Banglore (when govt. was about to present OBC reservation bill in monsoon session). I had an opportunity to interact with some of the socially ignited minds from AIIMS, JNU and other IIT’s. I chatted with personalities such as Mr. Khera and Mr. Agarwal (Supreme Court lawyer for the resistance), if I recollect well.

The picture I got was, most of them baring a few agreed to my viewpoint. All they were against was a caste based reservation and the creamy layer. In fact most of the budding leaders were quite sad that they were being labeled anti-reservationists. They said, “Its not anti-reservation pal, it’s a struggle against caste based reservation. Why isn’t it being called so?” Well this is media. It sell what sells.

Now that the creamy layer is out of the way, I don’t feel next phase of struggle would be that extreme (if not incensed by opposition, which seems highly unlikely).

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Written by arpitgarg

April 16, 2008 at 4:53 pm

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