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SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS


FORUM
Q: Should admissions to specialised courses be on
the basis of caste or merit?

This is the fourth instalment of readersí response

Help them with books, not seats

The new policy of reservation is just another game to gain a few more votes. With students from all classes joining in protest against the policy, the message is clear. Itís just the politicians who think that reservation can be somebodyís due right. The OBCs do not want any special treatment.

The people belonging to OBC, SC and ST categories are no less than the rest. They are equally advantaged or disadvantaged to achieve their goals. If the government actually wants to help them, it should go and see how in remote villages, they still live in primitive conditions, as untouchables. The government rather wants the people from the general class to be the new untouchables.

What is the use of facilitating the ones who have already benefited and are quite rich in means and intellect to fight for a seat on merit? They can be helped better with free books and low fee.

Reservation is doing nothing but killing the dreams of the deserving students. It would only lower the educational standards. To be treated equally, the people should first be free to stand on their own.

DEEPSHIKHA BHARDWAJ, Shimla

Quotas will slow us down

Merit is a property not of a particular caste, but of fertile brain and hard work. Dr Hargobind Khorana and Dr Amartya Sen did not excel in their respective fields because they were from a particular caste; they excelled because they chose to work in lands that were not caste-ridden, as it gave them the best chance to display their merit. Assume the fate of passengers of a particular bus for which the driver has been selected on the basis of his caste, regardless of whether or not he can drive.

Similar would be the fate of they who live in high-rise buildings and travel over bridges that were engineered by a person who did not have the merit, but came through the reservation backdoor. Doctors who came through caste-based reservation would prove disastrous in operating rooms.

Civil unrest takes birth inside frustrated brains of high merit. Caste consideration will also retard the speed of our technological development, as we would lose more Hargobind Khoranas and Amartya Sens to the West.

M. S. GILL, Kokri Kalan

Medicos have our support

With anger, anguish, fear and resentment writ large on the faces of junior and resident doctors, they seem rightly determined to convey their woes to the government and muster the public support.

The quota allocation would dilute the quality of research and professional efficiency in super-speciality courses, for admission to which, merit alone should be the criterion. No one would object to the multiplied financial assistance in the form of free coaching, scholarships, free hostel, free books and exclusive facilities for they who intend competing fairly.

Ignoring merit and adjusting the lower rank order against quota would be most unfair, unethical, illegal, injudicious and disastrous. The recent anti-reservation protests depict the utter disgust of the medicos.

Mr Arjun Singh should shed his obstinate approach over such negative issues, more so when his Cabinet colleagues have been vehemently opposing it. They who play with fire burn themselves sooner or later.

Prof SUDARSHAN DHINGRA, Abohar

Exploding population is the cause

The root cause of the protests against reservation is excessive population. If the Indian population were limited and manageable, everyone would get job as per his or her calibre and there would be no need for reservation in any field. Would there be the need for reservation if there were more vacancies, but fewer aspirants? Everyone would have sufficient space to live and move around, hence there would be no unrest. However, I believe itís just my imagination running wild.

ARPANA SHARMA, Pathankot

It is a question of rights

It is our right to raise our voice against any discrimination that we see or feel. It is also written in the Constitution that we are all equal in the eyes of the law, irrespective of colour, creed caste or sex. If anyone tries to discriminate against us on the basis of any of these factors, he or she must me punished.

However, the discrimination has become so naked that it has been legalised. Reservation has been allowed so that the selfish politicians may strengthen their vote bank, even if it means trampling the rights of the innocent, passive victims.

Look at some of the quotas that we have been demanding: a fixed quota for women (sex discrimination); a fixed quota for the SCs, STs, OBCs (caste discrimination); a fixed quota for minorities (caste, creed discrimination).

A doctor selected on the basis of reservation has not only violated the rights of a deserving candidate but also put lives into jeopardy. A deserving candidate could be from any class or caste. Everyone should be given an equal opportunity, but at an equal level.

POOJA, Karnal

Suppress merit at own risk

The proposed measure of the Central Government to increase reservation in some premier technical institutions reminds me of the novels written by Ayn Rand. In Atlas Shrugged, she conceived a society that earlier was free, but subsequently was swept by the doctrine of providing for have-nots by legally suppressing merit, and entrepreneurship.

It led to mediocrity, inefficiency, apathy and corruption creeping into the system, leading to brain drain and chaos. The government introduced the Mandal Commission Reforms in 1989-90. It led to a strong decline of the public sector, which worked in favour of the private sector.

The sun shines brightly over the private sector for now. The government now proposes that reservation in jobs should be extended to this sector as well and more seats should be reserved in premier institutions of education. Instead of pondering over the reasons for the failure of its programmes for have-nots, the government has gone in for quick-fix solutions, the consequences of which would be disastrous.

Dr MANOJ LAMBA, Kurukshetra

II

One of my students alarmed me when she rang the doorbell. She had come to seek my help in filling up the form for the B.Ed. entrance test, which Himachal Pradesh University would conduct. I took the brochure and browsed the categories for which it was exclusively meant. There were no less than ten categories for which the seats were reserved. Candidates from the general category needed to fill a separate form. The conditions for the admission (marks in the qualifying examination) and even the price of the form varied from one category to another. The enigmatic question was now answered. Merit and reservation based on caste are poles apart. Reservation in specialised courses is even more perilous.

RAVI DATTA, Dehra (Kangra)

Donít divide the nation

The authors of the Constitution had only given 15 years of reservations in government jobs and education to the SCs and STs. They would never have imagined that it would spread like cancer. There should be no reservation, either in admissions or in recruitment. Quotas will reduce the efficiency, which is crucial at this stage. Students from reserved categories should be given free coaching to compete fairly for admission.

If the mind does not have the right bend, the person and the nation cannot compete with the best minds of the world. The reservation system in government jobs and promotions has bred inefficiency, jealousy and unrest in society. Merit should be maintained in specialised courses and politicians should bother less about their vote bank and more about the future of the nation.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

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