lawyers in India

Reservation in Educational Institution

Written by: Vishal Vora - Student, Uni. of Florida
Constitutional law
Legal Service
  • I was reading the article on NDTV.COM named Varsity woes: Are OBC quotas the right move? By Shruta Gupta it reads as below.

    The Union HRD Ministry's proposal of 27 per cent reservation for OBC students in Centrally-funded universities has re-ignited the merit vs caste debate in the education sector, reviving the furor the Mandal commission recommendation raised in 1991.

    Opinions are clearly divided between those who feel that the reservations are nothing but a political gimmick and should be opposed at all costs, and those who say the move will genuinely help lift the status of the backward classes.

    The proposed reservation is expected to affect premier education institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), which have already reserved 22.5 per cent seats for scheduled castes and tribes. If the new recommendations come into place, "general category" students will have access to just half the seats in these institutions.

    Basically I wanted to comment to that article but I came with some suggestion so I believe this will be good to publish on legalserviceindia where people will understand more that I want to say about.

    I am not against reservation but I am against this type of reservation. Reservations should not be based on caste. Indeed government has duty to provide education equally to everybody but when government is asking for reservation in education, it is actually showing its inability to give education to everybody with present educational infrastructure. I accept that India is going through very difficult period where it is expanding its economy. To sustain economy, educated and skilled labour is necessary. So in my view government policy should be promoting education for youth and children. The question is not if subsidy is necessary or not but the question here is to whom and how government should provide subsidy and how it should give thrust to education among youth.

    Article 15(4) of Indian Constitution read as "Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes." This article was added by the Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951.

    To start reforms, parliament need to change 55 years old Article 15(4) of Indian Constitution and replace it with something like this - "Nothing in this article or in clause (2) of article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially, educationally and economically backward classes of citizens without depriving other classes of citizen's equality of opportunity."

    If you read my proposal carefully I have added "economically backward class" in the proposed article and remove "or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes." Also I have added "without depriving other classes of citizen's equality of opportunity" in end. Let me explain all three proposed change.
    (1) By adding "economically backward class", I am making provision for government to give subsidy to poor people regardless of their caste.

    (2) By removing "or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes", I want to remove caste politics from India. It will not allow rich but Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes citizen of India to get subsidy, as I have seen so many SCST people having big properties but still getting aid from government on the name of caste, and I also have seen so many general class people who even dont have enough resource to earn as much money to feed themselves. I don't want to remove aid from poor people. That is why I added "economically backward class" in article 15(4).

    (3) By adding "without depriving other classes of citizen's equality of opportunity", I am disabling government to make law that can give unequal privileges to poor people. Instead government will only have option to provide financial aid to poor people who want to do something. Government can give them full aid from study to rent of house for study.

    By this way those needy people can get protection by government but they will have to show merit. If after getting aid, they failed in college or school, their aid can be stopped.

    On educational system, I would say that government needs to spent more money on educational infrastructure as classrooms in colleges are less then needed. Government needs to open more universities and more colleges or at least give supports who are trying to open new colleges and universities. India today needs more professional education without degrading primary education. Private institutions are good option. It is Indias primary educational system that is enabling Indian graduate ahead of other foreign graduate at aboard. Definitely we need to improve our primary educational system too. We need to give our children an environment where then can stand and speak in front of people.

    We need to give aid to deprived citizens, but we should not deprive others who have merit. Recent proposal of OBC quota is one similar to proposal of the than HRD minister of BJP government Mr. Murlimanohar Joshi. My suggestion is, give financial aid on basis of performance instead of seat reservation.

    The author can be reached at: [email protected] / Print This Article

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