Thursday, December 14, 2006

Good Coffee - Cream = (Still) Good Coffee

A sad day for Indians. I should have said Indian intellectuals, but where
political will prevails and _only_ political will prevails, other values
and ideals cease to exist. I am referring to the OBC bill that was passed
today in Lok Sabha. I myself belong to SC category and have seen closely
what reservation can and cannot do.

Reservations at IIT doesnt automatically make the life of a reserved
candidate any easier. He has to still compete (among other SC students),
has to take IIT exams (passing IIT is way easier that graduating from IIT
in 4 years with a semi-decent score) and survive the stress of competing
with the smartest kids in country. Its tough. I have seen lots of students
from reserved category ending staying for more than 4 years or pass with
low score.

Its not that only reserved candidates lag behind. General category
students also lag behind and reserved candidate students also lead from
the front. 4 years at IIT acts as a nice filter where only merit counts. I
believe the same works for IIM and IISc. So, its not a tremendous problem
if more OBC students would be now admitted to these institutions.

The problem is with the intent (read: publicized intent) of the whole OBC
bill chaos. Why need a reservation ? The students from backward
communities don't have access to good food, healthy environment and proper
education facilities - so give them a leverage by lowering the entry
requirement. If they have the smartness in them, then proper training will
bring it out. It happens, I have seen in happen.

Now, consider the students from backward caste (SC/ST/OBC) but from the
(relatively) wealthy community. They are not really deprived of good food,
environment and education. In fact they have access to the good ones. Now
if there is an exam where all the OBC students are competing against each
other, who is going to pass the exam with better score ? Why, the students
with better education and background, of course. Ahem, ... except there
will be more _creamy_ backward student than _really_ backward student.

I could not find anywhere on the internet the arguments against creamy
layer exclusion. I am eager to hear them, really. Maybe they have some
valid reason. I am left wondering what could they be ? Could they be more
important than helping the backward classes ?

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