Quota for OBCs

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 Dr. Vishaal Bhat 1 Comments

**NFHS Survey estimated only Hindu OBC population.Image via Wikipedia
WITH the UPA-Left taking a position on maintaining the 27 per cent quota for OBC’s, the situation is getting complicated. Even the BJP for compulsions of not losing OBC votes is toeing the line on quota but with a rider that it should apply to minority-run institutions also. There are others running analyses on why the AIIMS doctors are not entitled to raise the issue since for the PG courses at this institution those undergraduates who pass out from here are given a quota preference.

All these arguments are neither here nor there and are more in the nature of splitting hairs and/or showing off the analyst’s wisdom on the issue. What people are missing is the broader picture and that is if India wants to emerge as a technological superpower, education should not be deprived to any section of our society and also that we should not dilute the quality of education. In that sense what the striking doctors are fighting for is correct.

The political hierarchy is refusing to see this is because of the OBC votes that they will lose or because of retaining their present seats or coalition arrangements. Arguments like the seats in institutions like IIT’s and IIM’s can be increased so that general category students are not deprived because of the OBC quota does not hold water.

Admission to institutes of excellence like IIT’s and IIM’s should however continue to be on merit. Primary and secondary education at the same time should be strengthened so that the philosophy of meritocracy in higher education takes firm and enduring roots in the country.

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