oppn parties Review Reservation Policy, But Without Politics

News Snippets

  • Gangster Ravi Pujari, who had jumped bail in Senegal, held in South Africa by Senegalese police in a joint operation with RAW and Mangaluru police
  • GSI says gold deposits in Sonabhadra in UP more likely to be around 160 kgs and not 3000 tonnes as erroneously estimated by a mining officer
  • Sitting SC judge, Justice Arun Mishra, calls PM Modi a "visionary" and a "versatile genius"
  • Supreme Court denies any relief to the Nirbhaya convict who claimed he was mentally unstable
  • AAP and BJP engage in a war of words after the government leaves out Kejriwal and Sisodia from US First Lady Melania Trump's visit to a Delhi school to see a happiness class in operation
  • US officials say President Donald Trump likely to raise the issue of religious freedom during his visit to India
  • India accuses China of 'deliberately delaying' permission for a flight to evacuate stranded Indians in Wuhan
  • Income Tax department informed the Madras High Court that nearly 8700 have claimed huge tax deductions for "sales promotion expenses" and "gifts" in a case that against unethical marketing
  • Amulya Leona Noronha, the teen who was arrested for shouting "Pakistan Zindabad" at a rally in Bengaluru, was remanded to 14-day judicial custody
  • PM Modi asks the Ayodhya temple trust to ensure that the temple is built without bitterness in society and peacefully
  • US President Donald Trump says he will talk business with PM Modi during his visit to India this weekend as India is hitting the US "very hard"
  • After meeting PM Modi for the first time as Maharashtra CM, Uddhav Thackeray says the state will implement both CAA and NPR and no one has anything to fear from the two
  • Indian eves beat holders Australia in the opening match of the Women's T20 World Cup. Poonam Yadav spun the Australians out after India posted a below-par score
  • Mediators tell the protestors in Shaheen Bagh that the Supreme Court will listen to them more keenly if they remove the roadblock and move to an alternate site
  • No headway by mediators in the Shaheen Bagh imbroglio. Protestors say adjoining roads are running fine.
Former principal secretary to PM Modi, Nripendra Mishra, appointed to head the temple committee of the Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust
oppn parties
Review Reservation Policy, But Without Politics

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2015-09-26 17:35:19

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Picture: BBC News

Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS chief, has called for the government to review the reservation policy. If this call is for the good of society it needs to be welcomed. But knowing Bhagwat, one is sure that there are political considerations behind it. Hence, one is also sure that any review is not going to be meaningful as it will not address the real issues.

Mainly, a relook at the reservation policy will involve moving away from caste based quota to ones based on economic condition of the recipient. Then, some thought will have to be given to merit. Lastly, the stranglehold of the creamy layer will have to be broken. But is the present government capable of doing all this?

BJP has not moved away from caste based politics. In fact, in UP and Bihar, the party has played the caste card solidly, albeit differently. In UP, the game Amit Shah played with Dalits paid rich dividends. Hence, the party will find it difficult now to move away from caste based reservations. Even the Supreme Court has said that caste based reservations are passé. During the Jat reservation case, Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton F. Nariman said that “an affirmative action policy that keeps in mind only historical injustice would certainly result in under-protection of the most deserving backward class of citizens, which is constitutionally mandated. It is the identification of these new emerging groups that must engage the attention of the state

At the very beginning, the government needs to identify the creamy layer. What or who constitute this layer has to be established. Economic criteria should not be the sole yardstick. Any backward class family that has already got a quota seat in a college or a job in government should not be allowed to get more, at least in that generation. Family should mean father, mother and children. It is not fair to give two seats to a brother and sister from the same family. This is what goes on to build the creamy layer.

Then, if a backward class family is prosperous enough to pay for their children’s education, why should their child, and not a poor Brahmin’s child, get a subsidized seat. Those backward class families whose economic condition has improved markedly should be eliminated from the reservation process. For, after all, the objective of affirmative action was, and is, to bring up the backward classes. So once a family is sufficiently brought up, it should make way for others who are still deprived.

Finally, is it good for the country to fill up a huge percentage of government jobs with sub-standard people (and I use this term advisedly, for a candidate with 60 percent marks is definitely sub-standard compared to one with 80 percent) when better, more qualified people exist and are willing to do the job.

My contention is use affirmative action wisely. Provide free education to backward and economically deprived classes till Class XII level. Provide them free study material, coaching, libraries, computer centres and counseling. But after having done that, do not let their caste or economic condition decide if they get medical or engineering seats and government jobs through competitive examinations. For then the competitive tag is a sham and the examinations are loaded in their favour. If they do not show merit even after so much handholding in life and still want quotas at 10 or 20 percent lesser marks, they will not be an asset to the nation. Time has come not to sacrifice meritorious students at the altar of reservations.