Reality Check India

St. Stephens Delhi hikes quotas

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on June 13, 2007

 

The prestigious St. Stephens College Delhi is proposing to hike the quota for Christians from 30% to 40%.  The general “merit” quota will be cut by a corresponding 10%.

Saumya Saxena scored 92 per cent in her XII boards and she was sure of getting admission into the prestigious St Stephens College in Delhi University but she might be in for a huge disappointment.

The coveted minority college is planning to increase their seats in the Christian quota by another 10 per cent, which means that the seats in the General quota will also be reduced by 10 per cent.

Source : NDTV

It appears that the principal of the college is almost taunting the public when he says :

The policy is the initiative of the recently appointed officiating principal Valson Thampu. He has been quoted as saying that the “TMA Pai judgment in 2002 clearly states that 50 per cent of seats in a minority institute must be reserved for members of the minority community. It’s a constitutional obligation. In fact, I’m being unfair to the Christian community as the policy proposes to reserve just 40 per cent of the seats.”

Source : Indian Catholic

Thank God for small mercies.  I wonder what is preventing him from hiking the Christian quota to 50%, which he admits is a constitutional obligation. He need not be unfair to his community at all.  He is not doing the other minority communities or the public a favour by witholding the extra 10% seats. He should send a clear signal to remind everyone that St Stephens is a Christian institution first and foremost. The affected public can in turn tailor their individual responses towards these institutes.

In general, I think minority institutes must be allowed to only accept candidates from their communities. If they admit people from outside their communities, what is the rationale for their minority status ? Is this a scheme to promote minority ownership of public colleges ?

The government should come down hard on minority colleges that accept a large number of open category students. Perhaps a 3-5% intake can be allowed for others. Check out the bulletin of CMC Medical College Vellore here.  In this medical college (which is one of Indias best) the split up is (see page 2 of bulletin) : Out of 60 seats for MBBS ( 44 Christian + 6 Staff + 2 SC /ST + 1 Central Govt Nominee + 7 open competition ) This model is much better than colleges like St Stephens which are minority managed but not really minority in intake (even after this new proposal they still accept 40% open category).

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26 Responses

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  1. Revathi said, on June 14, 2007 at 9:16 am

    Are you sure that there are only 2 seats for SC/ST in CMC? Should it not be around 15%?

  2. Sundeep said, on June 14, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Kudos to the principal to take such a step, the correct intentions behind the move can be debated for days to come.

    Giving minority status to anyone is not the problem today in India. Due to caste based politics, the competition within the minority has heated up…..
    The Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan FOR THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM OF BACKWARDNESS.

    Its craxy to see hoards of people proving how BACKWARD they are.. none of the junta values the minority status because they are deprived, but the simple fact being they sense blood in getting an ST tag and are gonig for the Kill……

    God forbid this new age VALUES if I a may say so are taking India backwards….:-@

    CMC infact is following a simple logic….. any candidate who enters comes out of a rigourous screening process and is taken thru a much more rigourous course for four years….. have heard nightmares about the course….in short they are a minority college which is of repute globally.

    Its better minority colleges by default take 50% of students from that community n leave the rest for ANYONE category……

  3. realitycheck said, on June 14, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    >> Should it not be around 15%? >>
    Yes , it is 20% of 10 seats. I have given a link to their admissions bulletin.

    There is a danger of people misinterpreting my mention of CMC. This college is among the top 3 medical colleges and is a Christian Minority institution. You can see from their intake that they are honestly admitting a large majority of Christians. Same for St Johns Medical Bangalore. Same for Loyola Chennai.

    I only have problem with these minority colleges (like St Stephens) when they admit a large number of non minorities. In my book the line should be at 10% (as in CMC or in St Johns Bangalore). I dont know the exact figure for St Johns because of the various legal complications last year.

    To non Christian minorities and Hindus – sorry, but this is reality. They have every right to cut the open quota to almost zero if they so wish. These institutes are run by their Church funds. If you are fooled into thinking that St Stephens and others are bastions of equality of secularism, now is the time to smell the coffee.

  4. Revathi said, on June 14, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    If you look at the web site of St Stephens, you will find that the teaching staff is practically all hindu. So they dont impose this quota on their staff. How do you explain this?

  5. Barbarindian said, on June 14, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    India is perhaps the only country where majority religion folks are not allowed to run exclusive institutes for themselves.

  6. shadows said, on June 15, 2007 at 6:58 am

    >>> India is perhaps the only country where majority religion folks are not allowed to run exclusive institutes for themselves.

    BarbarIndian, Forget institutes, we are not even allowed to run our own temples !!

    RealityCheck,

    Why is st Stephens prestigious ? I think its just another college where students aim is to become a “sarkari affasar”. And given the state of our bureaucracy, I can imagine what the college culture must be like. Its just that it also gets the toppers to join and produces university toppers that makes it prestigious.

    JNU is pretty much the same – students waiting to get a sarkari naukari, IAS or join some commie or maoist movement.

  7. shadows said, on June 15, 2007 at 6:59 am

    Are you sure that there are only 2 seats for SC/ST in CMC? Should it not be around 15%?

    =========

    Revathi,

    I think reservations do not apply to minority institutions. Its only us Hindus who are fools. !!

  8. Sundeep said, on June 15, 2007 at 9:11 am

    how about this…….leave some percentage( figures debatable from 20 to 30) for general category students ALONE and apply any mathematical formula to decide the rest of the quota among people who take pride in being branded as BACKWARD.

    When will our political system seriously talk about eliminating creamy layer from perview of reservations.. As its a fact today.. the students who enjoy the fruits are reservations are children of parents who took the benefit of the same system……….

    Shadow,
    To your point of Who is a fool?, All like minded people who think its not our cup of tea to take to the streets to prove a point or ” fight for their rights” are fools….. irrespective of their caste n religion.

  9. ravi srinivas said, on June 15, 2007 at 10:04 am

    If the college received no financial aid from govt then they can reserve 40% quota for students from minority community in whose name it is run.
    There are sorts of minorities – muslim minority, tamil minority, telugu minority etc. One can start a malayalee minority institution in Kanyakumari district and the institution can be a distance of stone’s
    throw from Kerala border. The Article 15(5) exempts minority institutions
    from any committment to reservation,
    even for SC/STs. So if you run a minority institution you can have the cake and eat it too simultaneously. Our secular marxists made a feeble protest against this 15(5) when the law was brought in the parliament to bring in this amendment. In Tamilnadu when the state govt. brought a similar law
    they did not even protest. The time has come for Hindus to realize that in India minorities are a pampered lot and secularism and equality are myths.
    Even when govt. funds them minority institutions have much more leeway in appointments and admissions. They can (in fact they do) give preference to minorities in appointments.A non-minority will find it
    impossible to become a principal or vice-principal in most minority
    institutions however qualified and experienced (s) he is and the
    govt. cant do anything there. So all conditions and rules imposed by the govt. in the name of secularism and equality, non-discrimination are reserved for Hindus only.

  10. ravi srinivas said, on June 15, 2007 at 10:09 am

    TMA Pai judgment in 2002 clearly states that 50 per cent of seats in a minority institute must be reserved for members of the minority community. It’s a constitutional obligation. In fact, I’m being unfair to the Christian community as the policy proposes to reserve just 40 per cent of the seats.”

    I think 50% is not mandatory.

  11. ravi srinivas said, on June 15, 2007 at 10:29 am

    If if the govt. funds them minority institutions can give preference to students from minority institutions. There is a case relating to St.Stephens College where this was affimed.

  12. realitycheck said, on June 15, 2007 at 10:35 am

    From what I read these are in legal murky waters – we are not expected to scratch the surface and ask questions.

    Until the recent amendment ( 93rd Amendment – 2005 ) reservation was completely optional in both non-minority and minority unaided colleges. Most colleges therefore had a deal with the local state governments : We give you a chunk for your ‘social justice experiments’ and we keep a chunk for our ‘hard cash experiments’. This worked wonderfully because most owners of colleges were politicians or their cohorts anyway.

    However, the minority colleges had to admit people of their own community in a proportion that allowed them to retain the protections under Art 30(1) (rights of religious and ling minorities to establish educational institutions of their choice) I dont know whether 50% was specified explicilty or not.

    The very concept of linguistic minorities is a farce played on a nation that is partioned into states on these very linguistic lines.

  13. realitycheck said, on June 15, 2007 at 10:49 am

    >> If if the govt. funds them minority institutions can give preference to students from minority institutions. There is a case relating to St.Stephens College where this was affimed. >>

    Please elaborate.

    >>I think 50% is not mandatory.>>

    As per SC rulings, the unit for defining a minority is a state. IF we take a Christian minority institution in a state – both out-of-state Christian and non-Christians (other minorities such as Muslim and Hindus) would have to be regulated if you these institutes want to retain protections under Article 30 (1).

    1. Can you start a Telugu institute in TN (like SVCE) and fill it with students from AP and claim to be minority under Art 30-1 ?

    2. Can a Christian insitute like St Stephens admit only 40% Christians and claim to be minority under 30-1 ?

    We will soon drown in these murky waters if they are not cleared up.

  14. Revathi said, on June 15, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Dear RC,

    Logic says that a person who drowns in murky water will drown in cleared water too. So, anyway you drown.

  15. realitycheck said, on June 15, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Revathi –
    >> So, anyway you drown. >>

    Yeah, but which one is better 🙂

  16. Barbarindian said, on June 15, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Yes, it looks like the current provisions allows religious or linguistic minorities to start institutes which are exempt from regular laws.This is a potential opportunity to bypass reservations.

    But I am willing to bet that if people start linguistic minority institutes by the hordes, it will only attract more amendments.

  17. realitycheck said, on June 15, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    >> start linguistic minority institutes by the hordes >>

    Barb, the crux of the issue is that it is almost impossible it is to start a new educational institute without political backing.

    We all agree there is a severe shortage of medical education opportunities (both at UG and even more severely at PG level) – yet a hospital that had the best facilities and was ready to immediately start medical courses was not able to get the required approval from the state government. See http://www.sankarahospital.com/ – this is an old website. Who loses ?

    Linguistic minorities are nonsense in a country where state lines are drawn on linguistic basis. You are not going to find many of those around. There is no telugu votebank in TN – just like there are no Tamil votebanks in Karnataka.

    People like Atanu Dey talk about privatization of education. This is where the metal meets the road and all their ideas go belly up. Even if you harbor the best of intentions you cant open a college without political pull. If college seats (esp medical) are gifts to votebanks – permissions to open colleges are like treasures.

  18. ravi srinivas said, on June 15, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    The Judgment in TMA Pai refers to the rights of minority institutions and cites the St.Stephens College case.They can admit minority students on
    a priority basis or can have quotas.Linguistic minority institutions are a reality.Recently (yesterday/today) I saw an ad for admissions to a minority institution (medical college) in kanakumari dt run as malayalee minority institution.The minority is a very vague term.Soli Sorabjee wrote a short piece in DNA on this. It has not been well defined in the constitution.

  19. ravi srinivas said, on June 15, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    From Pai case
    The only case in which the right of non-minority students to secure admission in a minority educational institution under Article 29(2) came up for consideration of this Court is St. Stephen’s College v. University of Delhi . The case revolved around the validity of St. Stephen’s college’s admission policy to interview candidates for admission into the college, in addition to marks obtained by them in the qualifying examination, in order to assess the merit of students. The Delhi University provided that merit for the purpose of admission was to be assessed solely on the basis of the marks obtained by candidates in the qualifying examination. It was contended by counsel for non-minority students that denial of admission to a non-minority student by an institution under Article 30 was violative of Article 29(2). St. Stephen’s College was receiving State aid. The Court, by majority, held that the admission policy of the college was not arbitrary or violative of any fundamental right and that the right to admit students of their choice is an essential part of the right to administer under Article 30(1); that such an institutional preference (as practiced by Stephens) for minority candidates would not be violative of Article 29(2); that although Article 29 and Article 30 are distinct and separate, they do overlap and competing interests under Article 29(2) and Article 30 must be balanced in order to harmoniously construe both articles and give effect to both of them. It was held that although minorities were entitled to accord preference in favour of, or reserve seats for candidates belonging to their own community, yet preferential admission of candidates could be only upto 50% of the annual admissions to their institution in order to maintain the minority character of their institution. With respect to the other 50% seats, admission should be open to all the students based on merit, and in that no preferential admission by the institution was permissible.
    64. The right conferred under Article 29(2) is an individual right. The difficulty is arising because it is sought to be converted into a collective right of non-minority students vis-a-vis minority educational institutions so as to take away a slice of the seats available in such institutions. In an institution established and administered under Article 30(1), the need of minority students is foremost as it is for their benefit that the institution exists. The grant of aid to the institution is to fulfil its objective and not to deviate from the object and barter the right of the minority students. It is only when the need of the minority students is over that in regard to the remaining seats that the institution can admit students of non-minority minority. In each year in a given course the same number of minority students may not apply. The minority educational institutions can admit non-minority students of their choice in the left over seats in each year as Article 29(2) does not override Article 30(1). If the need of the minority is to be given its due, the question of determining the need cannot be left to the State. Article 30 is intended to protect the minority educational institutions from interference of the State so they cannot be thrown at the mercy of the State. The State cannot be conferred with the power to determine the need of each minority institution in the country which will be both unrealistic and impracticable apart from abridging the right under Article 30(1). It is for this and the there reasons mentioned above, in my respectful view, fixing a percentage for intake of minority students in minority educational institutions would impinge upon the right under Article 30 as it would amount to cutting down that right. The best way to ensure compliance with Article 29(2) as well as Article 30(1) is to consider individual cases where denial of admission of a non-minority student by a minority educational institution is alleged to be in violation of Article 29(2) and provide appropriate relief.
    ————————————————————————————————————
    50% is not mandatory, it is the upper limit. Thampu is trying to fool others
    by claiming that it is mandatory.

  20. realitycheck said, on June 15, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    Ravi,
    Thanks a lot for sharing the text. I was going to study the Pai and Inamdar judgements over the weekend – but you have culled the essential part.
    I did not know that Stephens receives state aid. Therefore it is not an unaided minority college like CMC and St Johns Medical.
    >> The best way to ensure compliance with Article 29(2) as well as Article 30(1) is to consider individual cases where denial of admission of a non-minority student by a minority educational institution is alleged to be in violation of Article 29(2) and provide appropriate relief. >>
    Another classic case of an open invitation for endless litigation leading to more patchwork.
    >> It is only when the need of the minority students is over that in regard to the remaining seats that the institution can admit students of non-minority minority. >>
    So this judgement lays out a test the essence of which is : “the need of the minority students is over “. There is no benchmark against which this can be compared.
    What if Stephens decided that the needs of the minority are filled by just 20% and proceeds to admit the remaining 80% from non-minority ? The answer from Pai is : If anyone is affected – let them approach the bench !
    Am I reading this correctly ?
    >> Thampu is trying to fool others by claiming that it is mandatory. >>
    My initial position was completely in support of Rev Thampu. I was thinking he ought to hike it all the way to 70 or 80% in line with the spirit of the institutes minority status.
    I realize this will have an impact on its Hindu faculty and also overall reputation. So perhaps this is a small step towards ever larger quotas there

  21. ravi srinivas said, on June 15, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    What if Stephens decided that the needs of the minority are filled by just 20% and proceeds to admit the remaining 80% from non-minority ? The answer from Pai is : If anyone is affected – let them approach the bench !
    Am I reading this correctly ?

    Yes.Because minority institutions do not have the obligation to select every minority applicant or fix quotas for them. Dalit christians often
    complain that christian educational institutions do not give them
    any preference, nor have a quota for them. The institution can choose to fill up any number of seats with non-minority students and still remain as a minority institution in the eyes of the law.For example most of the christian
    institutions are run by church or by a sect within christianity, and as long as the founders and those run it are from minority community they will be
    considered as minority institutions.Even if the minority in take is just 2% that wont make a difference. The non-profit body or trust, that runs the institution,of course will have promotion of education among the minorities as one of the objectives or purposes for which the institution is run/ trust
    is established. This is well ‘used’ by minority institutions of all sorts.

  22. ravi srinivas said, on June 15, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    I did not know that Stephens receives state aid. Therefore it is not an unaided minority college like CMC and St Johns Medical.

    Wait, it is not that simple. Many aided minority institutions also have self-
    financing courses, run in the same campus. So one cannot generalise.My understanding is that for such courses post-Inamdar there is no need for any reservation.Moreover what matters is the character of the institution.
    Thus Stephens even if it receives 100% state aid, that does not alter its minority status.

  23. ravi srinivas said, on June 15, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    Can you start a Telugu institute in TN (like SVCE) and fill it with students from AP and claim to be minority under Art 30-1 ?

    In my understanding, yes, as long as their mother tongue is Telugu and the stated objective is to provide educational opportunities to Telugu speaking population.

  24. ravi srinivas said, on June 16, 2007 at 10:07 am

    See what Ram Guha has written
    http://outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20070625&fname=Ramachandra+Guha+%28F%29&sid=1

  25. Pratyush said, on June 25, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    i cannot possibly comprehend how realitycheck is so backwards in his thoughts,intentions and views.One must remember:merit supercedes all.If great institutions like St. Stephens continues to hike its Christian quota,its name will soon be buried and it will be part of a group of colleges which were once preat but have been reduced to corrupt versions due to the narrow-mindedness of a few individuals or a society(like Presidency,Kolkata and BHU).realitycheck is clearly one of those individuals who seeks to take advantage of the fact that most good colleges are Jesuit.And for that here’s a lil something realitycheck:F**k You!!!

  26. […] St Stephens hikes quotas , Guha gets it wrong on St Stephens , Rev Valson Thampu administers a reality check , Quota slippery slope […]


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