Wednesday, June 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Scrap reservation and recognise merit

Apropos of Mr Ram Verma’s article “A flawed reservation policy” (June 18), there is a need to scrap reservation of all kinds and restore meritocracy. Our Constitution provides “equality of status and opportunity for all the citizens”. While drafting the Constitution, Dr B.R. Ambedkar did envisage the need for reservation for a few castes and tribes to improve their lot and help them join the mainstream.

Even though reservation was originally intended for only 10 years, political parties continued to perpetuate this to keep their vote banks in tact. Mr V.P. Singh went a step further and extended 27 per cent reservation to Other Backward Classes on the basis of the Mandal Commission Report. This caused a lot of bitterness among some sections of society.

Job reservation and promotion, both on the basis of caste, have affected administrative efficiency and the quality of governance in the country. Economic backwardness can alone be the criterion for state help. But this should be confined to extending educational facilities only to the really deserving ones.

The present policy of appeasement and protective discrimination pursued by politicians is short-sighted and dangerous for the future of the country. This system is also affecting the growth of talent.

B.R. BATRA, Karnal



The founding fathers of the Constitution thought that reservations, if provided for 10 years, would help the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. But such is the extent of politics in this sphere that successive governments at the Centre have been extending the provision every 10 years not to uplift the Dalits but to win elections. No ruling party at the Centre or in the states would like to take the risk of abolishing reservation granted to SCs, STs and OBCs and lose the support of this solid vote bank.

The Centre and the states should give serious thought to uplift the downtrodden at the earliest and create an environment conducive enough to abolish the reservation system. The SCs and STs are being protected with the crutches of reservation. The rich Chamars and Meenas should shun these crutches and come forward to compete with those in the general category so that justice and meritocracy will triumph over caste and mediocrity.



Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci’s Theory of Transformism is now being practised in Rajasthan. Through reservation to upper classes, the Rajasthan government is in the process of transforming a good tactic to upbeat the Opposition BJP’s agenda in the forthcoming Assembly election. The various attempts to provide reservation for the general category were thwarted by the Supreme Court. But the promise of the political parties to provide reservation to these sections continues to yield dividends in the form of votes in the elections.

Education should promote talent, maturity and intelligence. The reservation system has reduced the standards of education. The best way is to adopt an equal merit system for all categories for entering into any institution. The relaxation in percentage of marks for certain categories is unjust and unfair.

VIJAY KUMAR HEER, Chakmoh (Hamirpur)


In Haryana, the reservation policy was reviewed in the late seventies. Reservation for SCs, STs and Other Backward Classes is provided on the basis of their population in the state. In the policy letter issued by the government, it was stipulated that if the number of reserved category personnel, in any class, reached the prescribed percentage, the operation of the roster system laid down for the purpose would cease, implying that the benefit of reservation in that cadre will not be made available.

It was also felt that if an employee has availed himself of the benefit of reservation, in any class of service, then his progeny should not be given such benefit. But the idea was not pursued further by the powers that be for reasons best known to them.

When there is so much competition today in various fields like industry, insurance, agriculture, capital market and business, the policy of reservation is flawed. The sooner it is abolished, the better it would be in the national interest.

A.C. AGGARWAL, Chandigarh


I endorse the view that it is time to curtail rather than to expand the scope of reservation. Why are some sections crazy about reservation? Why are they interested in dividing society through the policy of reservation?

If the government is keen on helping the most backward people, then it should give them assistance in cash or kind and not by reservation. If the governments at the Centre and in the states continue to perpetuate casteism and the reservation policy, how can we develop efficient doctors, engineers, technocrats and educationists who are the backbone of the nation? How can we help India emerge as a developed nation if we continue reservation? The government will have to abolish reservation as early as possible.



End this prospectus loot!

Nowadays the price of the prospectus in almost all the institutions not only for professional courses but also for educational courses is exorbitant. For example, in NIPER (National Institute for Pharmaceutical Education and Research) for admission in M. Pharm, M.Sc and other courses the cost of the prospectus is Rs 1,000. Likewise in Punjabi University the cost of the prospectus for M.Com is Rs 400 plus Rs 600 at the time of applying for the entrance test, which is a purely educational qualification. If a student has to apply to secure his seat in more than one institution, he/she has to spend at least Rs 2,000 besides other expanses, including photos and postal charges, which are also on the high side.

I, therefore, appeal to the authorities that the price of the prospectus should be fixed at a very nominal rate and should be based on a “no profit, no loss” basis and not a revenue source for the institution. In other institutions like banks a very nominal fee in the shape of DD is taken i.e. maximum of Rs 100 for exams/written test/interview for recruitment. Educational institutions should follow suit.

K.K. GARG, Patiala


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