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reSERV(e)ation
  • I fell short by 29 marks. He fell short by 15. But then,there was a bridge available which paved his way to prestigious institute. Welcome to India where seats are given away on the basis of your social stature which, ofcourse, is quite legitimate here.

    Reservation was inducted in government services and higher educational institutes to set up,what they call, egalitarian society. Mandal commision in 1979, headed by Bidheswari Mandal, incorporated many parameters to define "socially and economically backward class". Various social,educational, economic criteria were taken into perspective and they finally recommended: there should be seats reserved for specific class of people.

    After much delineation and amidst vehement protest, the recommendation was implemented in government services in 1993 and in higher educational institutes in 2008.

    As we stand today, this reservation policy needs a serious contemplation. The deleterious effects are evident with our so called fortress for engineering, the IITs, bowing out of the top 200 universities around the globe, raising doubts over the efficiency of the institutes. Meritocracy is meaningless without equality. It has degraded the prestigious institute, least to say. Politicians can be attached to a word 'tokenism'. And,when it comes to reservation, its no different. Samajwady party (U.P) can be a prime example who played Muslim quota card during elections. It discriminates the society on the basis of stature and class. For ages,the number of such people has been a debatable topic. There has been always subtle protest against reservation.

    So, on the hindsight, we realise that there is a need of serious introspection in 'giving' away seats in the name of "backwardnes". Its high time that government seeks some methodology to bridge the people who are strangulated in bad economic conditions with the mainstream economy. Afterall, not every backward student is economically backward and every student with highest stature in society is wealthy. In other words, parameters which measure the "backwardness" need to be changed. Reservation in higher education institutes should be a strict NO, it should be purely based on merit. Free school level (again for economically backward) is an intriguing prospect. For those who have taken this elusive(reservation) offer and have upgraded their economic dignity,using it again seems "morally" inappropriate. There is no denying the fact that talent lies everywhere, in every class of people; but way to unearth that talent needs to be a "leveller".

    REservation needs to be REdefined.

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