Saturday October 21, 2017
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Reservation issue from the eyes of a young college student

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Photo: campusdiaries.com

By Aakash Sinha

Reservation! As the word is uttered we see mixed reactions from the people of India. Why not? Eligible ones have a big smile on their face, for others it is just an Indian political tradition that must go on. Not a single aspect is left without the controversial word “Caste Reservation”. Education, scholarship, jobs, promotions- it’s everywhere. We say, India is fast growing, developing nation, then why we are still unable to phase it out? Why no political involvement is seen in handling it? Well, it’s interesting to know the answers.

Walking into history of time somewhere around 1901, first time reservation was introduced in Maharashtra to provide free education in the province of Kolhapur. After independence in 1982, Supreme Court of India announced quotas for SC (Schedule Caste) and ST (Schedule Tribe) in the field of education and jobs at the public sector, initially for 5 years. Transforming the motto of reservation, political parties made it a way to attract voters of this category and it kept on increasing until it reached 50% (After the constraint given by Supreme Court Of India). India was divided into General, OBC (Other Backward Caste), SC and ST in 1990 after Mandal Commission.

How does it affect the society? To remove the caste inequality, seats were reserved in educational institutions. Starting from the basic education in schools to the professional education in colleges, it’s a part of our life. But here the question arises, why is it so? Let us take the case of two students, one from general category and another is a SC, ST or OBC. While admitting to the school, the other student got the benefit of reservation. Now both students studied together with the same teacher in the same environment. So now I think that they are equal with the same knowledge. Alas! The story doesn’t end here. The other student is eligible for more favours. During the admissions to government colleges (IITs, AIIMS, IIMs etc.) the reserved category student will get admission but the more talented guy will be sitting outside and watching the game. What type of equality is it? Wait! Wait! It doesn’t stops here. It is further continued during jobs (different cut-off’s for different category). Now I think it should stop. My God! It also engulfed promotions after entering into govt. jobs (already benefited by reservation). A shocking fact: only 0.7% of scholarships or student aid in India is based on merit, the rest are reservation based. This way it is harming a part of society while blessing the other.

Why it still exists? Thinking upon this much debatable topic, I think all credit goes to the political class. Politicians will never want to be trapped in the controversy related to it. Why? The answer is “Power”. India has political parties of several hues and colors . If one party tries to sort out the situation other will oppose it to make use of the mistake done by the latter. Thus, the situation remains the same.

At present much of India is still fragmented by caste. But two decades of economic liberalization, government policies and increased awareness among people themselves have kick-started the process of change.

It is unlikely that there will be a complete transformation soon, but some say that for a country shackled with centuries of discrimination even a start is good news.

You can only bring the change!

Aakash is pursuing B.E , Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bangalore. Twitter:@aakashsinha1994

2 COMMENTS

  1. i think u forget that they get reservation only in entrance exam after admission they have to pass it and pass marks are same for everyone and For sc st in medical entrance they have to score certain 40% to get eligible for counselling and to get seat in mbbs they have to score at least 50% where a gen cat have to score 55% to get mbbs so there is difference but those difference is not so much as it make to look like I don’t know about other entrance exam so i cant tell you about that..I m sc but sitll i dont get in mbbs last year.it doesnt mean that if u are reserved category u will get admission there is also lot of compitition it is not so easy as it look like from outside

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Decoding Reservation in India: Is it a Constitutional Flaw or Unnecessary Favor?

The idea of 'reservation' has generated contradictory views from teachers and students all around the world

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Representational image. Pixabay

November 12, 2016: The word ‘reservation’ came up with the idea of representative government, where for the first time numbers mattered. The inequality of Indian society has solidified the need for numeric representation. The caste based representation, no doubt created a more confident lower class mass with their greater involvement in the public sphere. Reservation in education has evolved as a major challenge for lakhs of students. Far from providing an equal opportunity it has an electoral agenda. Education has been politicized based on reservation.

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However, the backward class proportion is still underrepresented. Article 15 (1) of the Constitution says, “State shall not discriminate any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them”, it also provides for compensatory or protective discrimination in favor of certain sections of the disadvantaged people. Article 15(4) of the constitution stipulates that notwithstanding the provision stated above, the state can make “special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes”. Thus constitution itself provides contradictory clause.

The idea of ‘reservation’ has generated contradictory views from teachers and students all around the world. ‘Caste should no longer be the eligibility criteria for reservation, rather income should be’ said HemangoAkshayHiwale, an M.phill aspirant in Jamia Millia Islamia University. Prakash, another student of same university claims reservation as a ‘good thing but in present scenario in India need to be reformed.’

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In August 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that for admissions at super-specialty level in medicine and engineering faculties, no special provisions like SCs, STs, BCs were permissible. Even among the quotas there are also sub-quotas. For example, in Andhra Pradesh, 15% of the seats in each course of study reserved for Scheduled Castes are in turn allotted, in proportion to their population, to four categories of SCs classified as A, B , C and D.

This affirmative step has so far brought with it social justice. US Carnegie Mellon University, published a study in American Economic Review, which shows that reservations do place those who do not qualify for affirmative action at a disadvantage, 53,374 scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, other backward classes and general category students are at a loss.

Reservation in the past decades has increased the numbers of scheduled castes and scheduled tribe families with highly educated members, who can encourage and provide support for younger family members to continue their education. Thus, reservation in education as of now is more of a luxury scheme for these classes as the benefit is only confined to a limited population, whether they need it or not. The real needy ones are at a loss to whom the information or the financial access is debarred.

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Instead of favoring reservation, the government should increase the number of universities and government jobs for the benefit of its people. Nationalization of education can also be a solution to this issue. When the discrepancies within the universities are omitted; i.e. equal access to education without compromising the quality of education the disadvantaged students in remote areas will get justice. The proliferation of universities in villages with good teachers can also be an alternative.

Reservation should not be treated as a vote bank or an emotional quotient but a practical measure to help the lower section of the society. It should be kept in mind that the extended favor to the marginalized section might create an insufficiency for the other classes. With the critical Indian class structure, it should be kept in mind that any reform of upliftment will be judiciously measured before its implementation.

by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon

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Jats to get reservation along with four other casts

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Image source: picsture.com

Haryana: The Haryana Cabinet on Tuesday unanimously passed the Jat Reservation Bill in the Vidhan Sabha. The bill proposes to include Jats and five other castes in backward classes by bifurcation. On Monday, the Haryana Cabinet gave its nod to a bill providing reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to Jats and four other castes. The move came a day after protesters threatened to resume their agitation if their demands were not met by March 31, the last day of the Vidhan Sabha’s Budget Session.

The draft reservation bill proposed six per cent reservation for Jats and four other castes in Class-I and II government jobs, and 10 per cent reservation for the five castes in educational institutions and Class III and IV government jobs.

The Jats had given an ultimatum till April 3 to the state government to meet their demand of reservation. A meeting of Jats from 13 states is likely to be held in New Delhi on April 3 to discuss the reservation issue and further course of action. At least 30 people lost their lives and over 320 were injured, besides private and government property suffered losses to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees, during the Jat agitation and subsequent violence in February.

Credits: Indian Express

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Siddi community of India : a case study

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photo credits: www.scoopwhoop.com

by Shriya Katoch

  • About Siddi community of India:
  • They were brought in as slaves by the Arab.
  • They have preserved 70% of their gene pool through Endogamy.
  • They have faced severe poverty and have been alienated by society .

Siddi: Where are they from?

Siddi is a tribe living in Karnataka, Gujarat and Hyderabad .Many members of the Siddi community have migrated to Pakistan during the partition .In India, Karnataka has the largest concentration of Siddi. According to estimates there are around 3,700 Siddi families in the state with a total population of 18,000. Other Siddi populations in the sub-continent include around 10,000 in Gujarat and 12,000 in Hyderabad. A few hundreds are also found in Lucknow, Delhi and Kolkata.. They are known to have East African roots .It is believed that between 16th and 19th century Siddi were brought in India by the Arabs as slaves .

What is their social standing?

They were extremely talented in the art of battleship and between the 18th and 19th century , some Siddi usurped their rulers and settled in the depths of the forest in Karnataka .Even after living in India for centuries they are still not accepted in the Indian society .
Outcasted, they have distanced themselves by establishing independent societies .They are considered to be lower than untouchables .
In terms of social structure they are at the bottom of the pile .

They are regarded as encroachers .Many Siddi dream of returning back to their native country Africa but they do not have the financial means to do so .Shunned and forgotten they dream of returning to the land of their forefathers where they believe they will finally have a sense of belonging.
However ,in actuality the Siddi have diffused themselves in our society to such an extent that they are treated as foreigners in their own homeland as well.
Even though they have adapted to our society ,they have still withheld their own cultural roots.They have adapted to the local custom but still preserve parts of their strong African culture .Infact according to DNA testing the average Siddi is 70% Sub Saharan African .It is truly remarkable that they have retained 70% of their genes after residing in a country ,with a population of 1 billion, for 200 years .
Endogamy has played a crucial role in preserving the gene pool .

Siddi are victims of abject poverty. After inhabiting the country for more than 1000 centuries ,they still face social ,political and economic injustice.The government has attempted to improve their situation . On January 8 ,2003, the union government brought Siddi under the list of scheduled tribes in order to empower them constitutionally. Further, policies were also endorsed by parliament. It is hoped that proper implementation of these policies would result in an enhanced social and economic status of the Siddi community .However the Siddi population argue that when they don’t have enough financial support to enroll in a college how can they claim the seats ?
Due to such unrealistic reservations ,most Siddi are restricted to work as farm labourers for the entirety of their life until their children resume the same work.Many Siddi women work as maids in the neighbouring cities .

Despite living in such harsh conditions it is known that when a child dies a mother wails for days to ensure that the child be born again as a siddi and not in any other caste.

Siddi are mainly Roman Catholics ,with a minority practicing Islam and Hinduism instead.Even though they practise such diverse religions ,they inter marry between different religions.

Siddi are branded as incapable of intellectual endeavours only talented in the field of music and sports .

Even after facing such cruel conditions it is hoped that the Siddi will rise through the abyss ,empowered.

Shriya Katoch multitasks as an Engineering student , an avid reader ,a guitar player and a death note fan.