Time to Reshape Reservation Policy for a larger prospect

Rabin Prasad Kalita *

The plague of reservation is failing to produce proficient citizens in this developing nation. Political parties have harvested its profits for their own benefit and not for whom it was introduced which is very much evident in every election manifesto of different parties.

Indian constitution was adopted by the republic of India in 1950, where it is enacted that reservation should be given for those who were left out of society due to caste based discrimination. It was based on the principle enshrined in the constitution for equal opportunity.

Although, initially the time frame was fixed for a period of 10 years, however it has been elasticized more than six and half decades by now either due to social reasons or to reap political mileage. Instead of thinking of its abolition, new additions are still happening.

This reservation system was launched to upgrade poor and backward people living in different parts during and after the transition period of independent India so that, they can come up to a certain level of others. Policy makers of earlier and succeeding Govt. have failed to achieve its value till date.

Today the condition is such, instead of trying to lessen the gap, the gorge of this caste based reservations systems is deepening and also spreading amongst the different communities. For example, Jats are mostly dominant of Haryana and Rajasthan have been included in OBC (Other Backward Class) category recently who is the prime land owners of both the states.

Moreover, Yadavs are the most dominant rulersand land owners too in Bihar and UP are also brought under OBC category. No matter whether they are rich or poor!It is only politics for whom branches of reservations are still prevalent and added one after another. No political party wishes to let it go because of losing this most powerful political tool of vote base policy. People who are really beleaguered are not even aware of the facilities provided by the government. The facilities are mostly being consumed by those people who are well settled and can afford basic amenities by themselves.

Mr. X Y and Z are enjoying Govt. jobs under ST, SC and OBC quotas. Sometimes they also rule over their senior colleagues of the same office after getting premature promotion earmarked for them. Everyone possesses Bungalows, cars and a glitz of comforts by now and also putting their progenies in some of the high profiled schools and colleges in the city. Some of them are high ranking bureaucrats too. In short they are well to do in all aspects. Still they are considered as privileged class and relishing every opportunity invariably generation after generations. How long they would be kept reaping these advantages?

For example: My son and Master X (son of a Central Govt. Employee) faced UCEED (Undergraduate Common Entrance Examination of Design) and scored 144 and 104 respectively. My son raked under 1100 as embossed under General Caste and Master X adjusted his rank under 20 being ST who only scored 104.

Now Master X could hook his seat in one of the IITs, whereas my son had to end up his hope of admission, except a few invitations from private money siphoning colleges. My sonís mistake was that he tagged my title! And Master X had born with a privileged card on his hand. Bright students are discarded in a corner. Isnít it disgusting? This is what the progress of this nation is so feeble due to the inferior products at the end.

The whole lots of Govt. employees who are all engaged through caste cards are keep securing the benefits of their inherited category generation after generations. Their entitlements have been certified by the Govt. and keep on validating for their heirs hassle free.

While a major portion of the general castes are becoming jobless. A major percentage of general population whom considered as general caste becomes economically much weaker due to the helm of reservation. Many of them are seen well below the poverty line and fighting for their survival. Why this lifelong undue benefit has been kept provided to some of the special classes? How they go unchecked with their financial status through the scanner of the Govt. machinery? Naturally this biased favour provokes the anger of an endowed and capable one.

Now, the consequences of reservation are so vivid and clear. We canít expect quality products from the premier institutions like IITs, IIMs, IISCs, NITs and also from high ranking Medical colleges due to the poor admission standards. A more worthy student is left out of getting admission for no fault but for the helm of reservation. This is one of the causes of brain drain to some of the vanguard countries.

It has been a great loss to the country in terms of economy and pride of the nation due to the brain drain. This may be one of the reasons that a good numbers of meritorious brains have been migrated to many different developed countries where they can seek better education and also choosing to find their permanent address over there. Bifurcation amongst various caste and creed may be one of the reasons of stretching the gap wider in terms of unity and relationships.

Why there is a caste system? Why not we call it as economically developed and underdeveloped or economically poor based on financial status? Agenda of casteism must be replaced by the itinerary of economic development. Students of low income category are to be given an option to choose his or her reservation while filling up Class-X examination forms. My appeal is to issue a common separate certificate of reservation which shall be issued by the respective Board along with their matriculation certificates.

The same must be deposited in original (Non-returnable) to the organization for securing their reservations. There must be a standing rule that, once a student applies for higher education through reservation then he or she shall have to be restricted to the reserved seat only even if one clears the general cut-off marks. Proper monitoring system must be adopted so that unreserved seats are not consumed by them.

If someone is provided with reservation then his successors shall not be extended to avail the same facility again. It is because the govt. has already protracted sufficient financial support to him for upbringing his offspring. But if his successor goes through economic crisis then only he should be supported with such Govt. aids or helps.

A renewable minimum income of the family may be fixed by the Government for seeking reservations. Employees working under Central, State Govt., PSUs and corporate sectors with high income should be removed from the category of reservation as per the ceiling fixed by the Govt. no matter which class he or she belongs to. Production of family income or Income Tax certificate must be made essential to ascertain income while applying for higher education or jobs.

Reservation shall be provided to a person once in a life time that may be while pursuing education or applying Govt. service as per the option given by the student during the Board Exam. Percentage of reservation system should be totally abolished. Cut-off marks between reserved and unreserved category should be kept minimum so that, the standard and the very purpose of education is maintained.

Instead of paying more stress on reservation the Govt. should work out to create a congenial as well as convenient education system acceptable by all. Itís high time to enact policies in regards to establishing or redressing for high quality schools all over to reduce the difference between public and private establishments. Poor and brilliant students are to be encouraged with Scholarships so that they can pursue with higher education later on.

Poor students should be backed up with Interest free loans, Tuition free colleges etc. etc. There is no need of reservation for a person who is rightly educated because he can have the ability for self-engagement or to create jobs for others. Now the time has come to remove this orthodox age old policy and start with a new vision as well as its effective implementation.

* Rabin Prasad Kalita wrote this article for
The writer is Guwahati and can be contacted at rabin1966(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on January 29, 2019.

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