M A I N   N E W S

Quota from this academic session unlikely
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
The implementation of reservation in higher education from this academic session appears unlikely with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today constituting a four-member ministerial team to study the issue as nationwide protests on the issue continued for the fifth day.

The panel comprises of Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Law and Justice Minister H.R. Bharadwaj, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh.

As the panel would look into the ways of implementing the constitutional obligation, the UPA government embarked on a strategy of diffusing the surcharged situation. It is in this context that Union Minister Union Minister Oscar Fernandes met the students to end the agitation, which has paralysed medical services in several hospitals in the national capital and other cities. The panel will examine how to implement in a balanced manner the 93rd amendment to the constitution on quotas for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes in institutions of higher education, sources said.

Among the issues the committee is expected to examine is a phased implementation programme on quotas, especially to increase the number of seats in educational institutions to moderate the effect of reservation.

Sources said Mr Chidambaram and Mr Pranab Mukherjee met this evening to discuss the reservation issue, which is spreading like wild fire across the country. They reportedly discussed the issue of increasing the number of seats in higher educational institutions, implementation of reservation in phased manner.

They also discussed the need for public-private partnership in meeting the infrastructural needs and constitutional obligations. As the number of seats cannot be increased at one go and the government would find itself in paucity of funds to meet the infrastructural needs, the two leaders reportedly discussed the need to increase the budgetary outlay for the education and joining hands with private sector in implementing the quota regime.


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