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Showing posts from June, 2006

The question of merit

The single biggest argument both in favor and against the current policy of reservations in educational institutes is of merit. Thousands of students marched on the streets declaring this to be the death of merit, many prominent personalities expressed concerns about the dilution in merit in the top Indian schools. Many on the other hand pointed out and rather correctly that merit is not genetic and it does not belong to one particular group. Also in context of a country like India, merit cannot be based solely on academic performance, it has to include other things. The mere fact that we are not finding enough meritorious students from large sections of society, is an indication that our system has anomalies. I couldn't agree more with this point of view.Unfortunately, supporters of the reservation, after making this excellent observation, make the mistake of hasty decision. In simple terms, current reservation policy says that for the top n students, only the academic performanc…

Of democratic means and debates !

People are angry. Few thousand students in some major cities, most of them from forward castes, have hijacked the reservation issue and have denied space for a "all sided debate on this complex issue".I appreciate these people. They atleast contend that the issue is complex and that it needs a debate unlike our government which is "bound by the constitution" and gaged by the pro-reservationists.But I am not sure what debate these people are mourning about. Probably the one that happens in the TV Studios in late night shows or the one that is fought by experts through editorials in papers or may be on the blogs and its comments. But the debate is anyway on in all these places. I think they are talking about the debate that happens in parliament but a debate would need two sides. Right? How many politicians can you see on this side of the fence? And the debate that should have happened in the ministries of HRD and Education and Social Justice by involving the sociolo…