Reality Check India

IIM-A can take 150 more students – Prof Gupta

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on August 21, 2006

I am reminded of this quote by Jack Handey (the famous American comic)

If you ever drop your car keys into a river of molten lava, just let ‘em go, because, man, they’re gone

                      – Jack Handey

Blogger Barbarindian has a post up on this topic here http://barbarindians.blogspot.com/2006/08/does-professor-gupta-need-his-johnson.html

The news story is found here http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1910434.cms

Basically the issue is this : A certain professor Ramesh Gupta thinks that IIM-A can squeeze in 150 more students  even with existing infrastructure. This, of course relates to the “staggering” non-issue. I wrote a post about this here.

Much as I hate to – I have to agree with Gupta.

If we do not question the root issues like

  1. the total absence of OBC socio-economic data
  2. the total absence of a monitoring agency for OBC quotas
  3. how a community gets to be an OBC and remain as one
  4. nationwide rationalization of OBC lists (take an example, the North East has almost no OBCs, WB has very less OBCs, Gujarat, MP also see low utilization of OBC quotas). So what does this 17000 Crores do for these states ?
  5. what about kshatriyas being classified as OBC in southern states vs OC in northern ?
  6. what about clubbing southen OBCs who have had 80+ years of quotas vs northern who have had only 16 years ?
  7. what about the MBCs ?
  8. what about the creamy layer ?

Do the peripheral issues like staggering matter ? 

If we can live with these root questions unanswered – then surely we can “arjust” for a while with jam packed campuses – no ? Staggered or not – arent we going to have a preferential system in place that is not backed by any data ?

—————-

Another reality check about IITs and IIMs

  • I dont think anyone should have any illusions about these institutes – they are not world class because who gets out of these institutes, they are world class only because of who gets in.
  • If 50% get in for reasons other than merit – and 27% of those get in without backing socio-economic data suggesting that they somehow did not have the right background to prepare- then these institutes lose their core strength.
  • This quota bill is useless if it is not accompanied by the private deemed university OBC quota bill. The latter may be introduced in the next session (winter) of parlament.
  • If private universities are exempted, then BITS Pilani, Manipal will be the new IITs, ISB and Great Lakes will be the new IIMs – as simple as that. The lawmakers know that fully well too.

My vote is this

If you want to introduce this system (as ill conceived as it is) – then do not stagger it – nor spend obscene amounts on expansion. At least for IITs and IIMs, it doesnt really matter. Once you have compromised their core strength, i.e, the selection system, there is not much you can do to salvage them. On the other hand, if the government constitutes a third backward classes commission – which identifies beneficiary communities based on data, then we can spend the 17K Crores.

That would be money well spent, and all can have a feeling of doing something for helping the really backward.

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