Minority reservation for IITs, IIMs

If you’ve been following NDTV or reading The Telegraph, you probably heard this already. A couple of paragraphs from the Telegraph:

A committee set up by the human resource development ministry has recommended reservation for minority students in professional institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Management and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.

In its report, the committee says: “The number of minority students is falling in prestigious institutions like IIT, IIM, IIFT (institute of foreign trade), etc. The committee is of the opinion that reservations may be made for admission of minority students in such institutions.”

You can read the full article here.

While this is only a recommendation, I’m still disturbed. What is the criteria for judging minorities? Religion? State-wise or the country as a whole? What if a person was born into a certain religion but doesn’t practice the religion? What if they convert two years before taking the JEE or CAT? What about the RECs and the state funded colleges? Will they be next?

The current reservation system hasn’t exactly been a spectacular success. If this recommendation is accepted, I think that it’s going to create more problems than it’s going to solve, if it’s going to solve any problems that is.

It makes more sense to provide all students, irrespective of religion or caste, with proper education up to class 12 and ensure that the quality of education is improved at the primary and secondary levels. Most of you will not even think about admitting their children in a government school. Why is that? Because the quality of education and the infrastructure is poor.

Why don’t we improve the schools? Why don’t we increase the salaries of teachers who impact the formative years of children and work hard in a tough job?

It’s one thing to look for solutions and quite another to be satisfied with quick-fix solutions. Then again, it’s easier to find quick-fix solutions.

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