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Quotas can’t continue in perpetuity

If Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh is really interested in improving the lot of SCs, STs and OBCs, he should have made efforts to universally improve the standard of education at lower level so as to obviate the need for reservation. Otherwise, the quota system shall continue ad infinitum.

In the present system, the benefits of reservation are harvested by second generation and creamy layer children who had the same education in public schools as the upper castes. Those who are really poor and economically backward continue to remain so. The system creates divisions within the OBCs, SCs and STs. Do persons like Meira Kumar need reservation?

Other anomalies in the quota system are to provide reservation for higher education and also subsequent promotions in government service besides reservation at entry level. If a student cannot come on par with others during four and half years of MBBS course, he/she certainly does not deserve any protection in MD or MS course.

The latest is to reserve seats in IIMs and IITs. At least in case of incompetent doctors produced by the quota system, the patients have a choice, but reservation in promotion to higher posts is devastating. The persons who get at the bottom of the UPSC list due to reservation in next promotion supersede much senior, brilliant and older colleagues, causing an all round demoralisation.

Owing to this policy in next few years, all Central government posts will be headed by the quota people who are not always amongst the most brilliant. By promoting mediocrity at the cost of meritocracy, will we ever be able to compete with the best in the world? Caste-based quotas will divide society.

Dr O.N.BHARGAVA, Panchkula

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS


II

If the Supreme Court has criticised the government for relying on the 1931 census which it deemed to be dated, the NDA must be blamed as it was in power then. The OBC quota for Central government jobs has been in force for the last 14 years.

Since the inclusion and exclusion of various castes from the OBC list is a continuous process that is handled by the National Commission for Backward Castes, the NDA government, during the 2001 census, should have also enumerated various castes and their related social status to update the data. Such a mammoth national exercise of census has not been effectively utilised in 2001, which has led to this situation today.

KAMUTHURAI SANKAR Chinnamannur (Tamil Nadu)

Reviving our spirits

The article “Common Cause is always at work” on the front-page (March 24) did indeed revive our spirits and faith in the human race. For once, we felt positive and not defeated by our countrymen. Let us read more such articles first and put the negative ones on the back pages.

USHA KHAITAN, Chandigarh

Badal is right

What Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal says regarding Section 78 of the Punjab Re-organisation Act, 1966, is logical. I don’t think raising this question at any platform, including the Supreme Court, would adversely affect the Center-State relations.

All Mr Badal seems to be saying is that in the case of rivers flowing through Punjab, the same yardsticks as were used in the southern states shall not be used. The reason: the basic conditions in the south and in the case of Punjab and its adjoining states are entirely different.

Again, if Mr Badal raises doubts about the Centre’s power to interfere in matters on its own, he seems to have a point. It would be interesting to see what Mr Badal plans to do and in what spirit the Supreme Court would take it. It would be an important ruling which should be accepted by all concerned parties in letter and spirit.

NUTAN THAKUR, Lucknow

Two-party system

I have read H.K. Dua’s article “The weakening Centre: Consensus needed on national issues” (March 29). Most political parties are today busy in petty pursuits even at the cost of wider national interests. The UPA’s allies - like the NDA’s allies - want to cling on to power, but put down the Centre on various issues. The need of the hour is that in the next Lok Sabha elections, we should vote to a powerful national party.

Unlike in the US and UK, a two-party system would solve India’s weak, fragile and unstable rule of coalition culture. The present coalition has totally failed to eradicate poverty, unemployment and illiteracy.

SUNDER SINGH GIANI, Dialpura (Mohali)

Change exam date

The dates of the Combined Entrance Test for Chandigarh Medical College and Delhi University (DUMET) are clashing on May 20. DUMET is an All-India test for women. So the examination date should be changed to help women.

D.S. DHIMAN, Shimla

Apex court upholds rule of law

Democracy means rule of law which applies to everyone, be it the head of the government or the common man. The judiciary has to ensure that the law is applied without fear or favour to one and all.

The Supreme Court directed the Centre to evict 497 ex-lawmakers, former bureaucrats and journalists, past or present, illegally occupying government accommodation leaving bills worth Rs 50 crore unpaid. The order shows the maturity of our system and the judiciary’s commitment to enforce the rule of law in letter and spirit.

The government should comply with the ruling and evict all squatters and recover the arrears. This hefty amount thus collected can be spent on constructing toilets in the villages.

R.J. KHURANA, Bhopal

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