Reality Check India

The usual suspect – implementation

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on May 16, 2006

We all agree on the lofty goal to provide equality for all. We only assert that the current quota system in place is extremely broken and totally unmonitored.

It is clear that sooner or later OBC quota will be a reality in IITs/IIMs/AIIMS, the politicians have let the cat out of the bag and it just wont go back. Let us look at why the system is totally broken and when it is implemented will not resemble social justice even remotely.

  • OBCs unlike SC/STs are not classified scientifically. There is no data available nor collected by bodies like the National Sample Survey Organization http://mospi.nic.in/mospi_nsso_rept_pubn.htm . YOu can see that detailed data is available on SC/STs group by components. There is no such data available for OBC components.
  • Unlike SC/STs, OBCs are powerful politically, economically, and socially. This ensures that most of the Mandal recommendations including the need to re-evaluate every OBC component at a 10 year interval is summarily ignored.
  • At a national level, the relative status of OBC components are extremely skewed. That is why it wont work. For example, a Lodh or Kurmi who are just coming into the education arena can never match the powerful OBCs from TN+KA such as Mudaliars, Pillais, Vokkaligas, and Gounders.  There is no attempt at rationalizing OBC components – for example a Mudaliar is a OBC in TN but FC in Karnataka – where there is a significant presence, same with a number of Chettis. In the end, most benefits will be swallowed up by OBCs who are into their third or fourth generation of quota benefits. This will defeat the entire purpose of OBC quota.
  • The big one is the exclusion of creamy layer. Even though all states including TN must exclude the creamy layer for national quota, TN will not take into account the salary of a government employee when issuing the certificate ! Yes, that is true. This means that in effect OBCs from TN who appear for IIT/IIM/AIIMS will have a non-creamy layer certificate in hand which OBCs from other states cannot get. That would be a huge advantage and again render the system unfair for other OBCs.
  • An even bigger problem is the issue of MBCs. Once you go down the road of providing quota for OBCs, MBCs will have a totally just demand for a seperate quota for themselves  – which cannot be ignored. Dr Ramadoss who obtained quota for Vannier caste in TN is now in Delhi, he will surely raise the MBC issue after the dust settles. You know what, as weird as that sounds – he has a just demand. The Vanniers are definitely not in the same economic or social league like Vellalas, Naickers, and other OBCs. It would be very very difficult to refuse his claim if you accept the OBC claim.
  • Perhaps the biggest problem of all is the entrance exam itself. No matter what percent quota is introduced, tough exams means tough preparation. Period. Tough preparation will require access to coaching and/or books, study material. Now you can claim that rural students do not have the means to get these books. The end result, not surprising considering Indian politics, would be to totally dilute the toughness of the exam itself. As exams get easier and easier, a huge number of students get bunched at the top, there is not much to differentiate a 99% student from a 99.5% student. In other words, the selection does not set apart outstanding students from merely good ones. That is exactly what has happened in TN. The exams here are unlike anywhere else, in 2005 over 1500 students got 100% marks in biology for only 1300 seats.

We have said before TN is the state that must be studied if you want to understand where quota politics are going to get you. What is the point of all this – if the exams continue to be tough and you still need access to specialized (often expensive) coaching.

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4 Responses

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  1. barbarindian said, on May 16, 2006 at 3:53 pm

    “This means that in effect OBCs from TN who appear for IIT/IIM/AIIMS will have a non-creamy layer certificate in hand which OBCs from other states cannot get.”

    That’s funny. Actually I addressed it as well on my blog. Another caveat is, suppose a community is listed as OBC in one state and he/she is applying to a central institute in another where his/her community is not considered backward. What happens then? Will it mean now they will maintain a central list of OBCs separate from state lists?

  2. Chella said, on May 18, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    Better visit my counter arguements in http://www.oomai.wordpress.com

  3. realitycheck said, on May 19, 2006 at 7:16 am

    Chella –

    I visited your website and read the article "Dalits and OBCs suffer Brahminical Oppression in IIT Madras".

    I usually do not pay much attention to any story that attempts to club OBCs and SC/STs together. These articles make a *outrageous* assumption that SC/ST/Dalits and OBCs suffered (or continue to suffer) the same amount of oppression. 

    The truth of the matter is that Dalits still continue to be dominated by land owning OBCs on which Dalits toil as labourers. The so called rationalist movement has not resulted in matching land reforms, Dalits still have not got possession of the panchami lands promised by the british when they left India.

    You can take every single Brahmin out of TN and still it will not make an iota of difference to the plight of the Dalits/SC/STs.

    Nobody here is opposing reservations to SC/STs/Dalits.

  4. David Pederzani said, on October 21, 2010 at 5:32 am

    This is often a top notch blog site. I have been back a couple of times over the past week and wish to join your rss making use of Google but can not work out the right way to do it exactly. Do you know of any instructions?


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