I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

One more alternative to reservations

For those who argued that there were no viable alternatives to reservations in IIT if we wanted social justice etc. etc., here's some food for thought.

Two people have got together and help 20 kids get into IIT. Reminds me of these words,
"...The answer then, has to include some institutional means of providing children from less priviliged backgrounds the support they need to make it to the top schools. Institutions like the Prep for Prep program in the US. Prep for Prep provides intensive support for high potential children from backward communities - giving them the opportunities they need to make it to top colleges in the country. Does it work? Go look here. That's over 200 students currently enrolled in Ivy League schools...
Real development comes from building new institutions, not hijacking old ones. If we really want to make a difference to social inequality, we need to find institutional solutions and processes that are focussed on that problem, and attempt to attack it at its roots. Obviously, those kind of initiatives are a lot harder to design and implement than the parasitic option of reservations. Which is why the government is always going to try to fob us off with more seats for a handful of people in a small fraction of the country's schools. That's exactly what we mustn't let them get away with."
Telegraph had written about this earlier.
Pankaj Kumar Kapadia, an OBC student from Nasirganj in Rohtas, who has bagged the 1,079th rank, said: “Why do we need to be lifted up to reach the top rung of ladder?” The government, he said, must spare at least the IITs, IIMs and AIIMS to ensure quality. Kapadia, whose father is a retail cloth merchant, feared foreign companies would start losing interest in Indian students if the Centre implemented the quota regime.

Of course, we can now argue that foreign companies losing interest in Indian students is hardly important. I will not even debate such a meaningless topic.


Blogger Mr. D said...

Don't be giving people ideas.. for all you know, next they'll say foreign companies don't deserve indians and they will RESERVE half of the iits and iims and aiims for indian companies only.
(Am imagining what placement day will be like, then... people will be fudgding their grades to put a C instead of a A)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 11:25:00 PM

Anonymous Mowgli said...

Our govt's solution to every problem seems to be legislation .. reserve seats in central universities, reserve jobs in private sector, ban colas, ban Da Vinci code ...

What's the so what? We're doomed!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 11:44:00 PM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Mr. D, that's the (il)logical next step, isn't it?

Mowgli, I won't call decisions taken ad hoc by the ministry as legislation. They are just ad hoc decisions. What worries me is that colas and Da Vinci Code are symptoms of the same disease which used to afflict the more hardline right. In itself, it is silly, but as a symptom, they show something really dangerous.

Thursday, August 17, 2006 6:42:00 AM


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