Tuesday, May 16, 2006

No going back on 27% quota for OBCs: Arjun

No going back on 27% quota for OBCs: Arjun
Long back in class IX or X I read this thing about bacteria and their behaviour. If you mix various species of bacteria together and keep them around for sometime, they somehow find their own kind and form "colonies". In India these colonies are termed "vote banks" and species would translate to "caste".

India may have advanced and people many have become internet savvy but when we log on to internet we go to shaadi.com and search matches based on "caste". In short, we are still living within the caste system...

Its therefore imparative that democracy in India be an extension of the same system. As the OBCs are more cohesive and organised than upper castes, I do not see why they should'nt have more clout in deciding the fate of this nation. Its not limited to education alone, its extends to employment as well.

The only way to address this issue is by making govt role in higher education less relevant. This can be achieved though pvt participation in education. If we look back, if can clearly see a sea change in our higher education (professional education) fee structures. For the last 10 years or so, govt. contribution to higher education is constantly decliling. Educational institutes have increased the fee several folds and yet it we havent seen much pushback from the society. Parents who spend thousands of rupees training their children for competetive exams can clearly afford the higher cost of education. In the past few years, with banks aggressively going retail way, education loans have become more affordable and accessible. Also, we are seeing proliferation of private educational institutions (engg. / medical colleges) in almost all the states implying higher education is affordable...

Going by above observations we can set up educational institutions that do not take any aid from the govt. and therefore not required to implement quota system. Today, the quality of these institutes is a suspect, but if the biggies in the industry decide to back some such institutes, I'm sure the quality of education can be improved to match the best in the country. The west has done it and I do not see why we can't do it here.

So instead of crying foul over reservation issue, lets move ahead and create meritocracy through pvt participation in professional education.