The vote bank politics wins again, as expected.The government tonight decided to implement a 27 per cent quota for other backward classes (OBCs) in higher educational institutions from the academic year beginning June 2007 while increasing seats for general-category students.
It is a very sad decision by the Government. There were indications earlier that implementation for the reservation of 27 for Other Backward Caste in the higher education institutions funded by the Central Government may be done in a phased manner of 9 per cent each year over the next three years. Now this will be implemented in one go by June next year.
The reservation of 22.5 per cent for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe is in place for the last 50 years for higher education institutions and if the report which I have read in the papers are to be believed, only 16 per cent of the 22.5 of ST/SC seats get filled in, the rest remain vacant. Only half of persons who get admission under reservation complete their courses.
Personally I believe the review of the whole reservation systems in the higher education institutions should have been done by a committee comparsing of educationist, without any politiciants being part of it.
Now the Government is saying that interestes of general category students will be protected by increasing the number of seats. How the seats will be increased in a short time of one year. Just by increasing the real seats and tables and chairs? I wonder. The infrastructure should have been upgraded and faculties should have been increased before such a quota systems for OBC were implemented.
All Indians should have equal rights to acquiring knowledge and being a better human being. But not everyone can become a doctor or an engineer or acquire a degree of MBA. Merit and ability should be the prime criteria for acquiring such degrees, and not the caste of the person. If it were within my powers, I would have done with caste systems. But in India, it is the most difficult thing to do. Caste systems is here to stay.