Following is the text of their joint statement released at a press conference at IIM, Bangalore.

Dear Members of the Press,

First of all we would like to extend our gratitude on behalf of the entire IIM Student Community for coming here to listen to our viewpoints.

All IIM students are presently interning in various organizations across the World and hence it had been difficult to mobilize our concerns earlier.

However, we are happy to state that Student Representatives from all 6 Indian Institutes of Management (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Indore, Kozhikode and Lucknow) have assembled here today in the IIM Bangalore campus to put forth the unanimous stand of the Student Bodies on the Issue of Reservation. Since it was not possible for all the Presidents of the 6 Institutes to be physically present themselves here today, they have nominated their representatives to be with us.

Our Stand on the Issue is as follows:

1. We extend our support to the medical students protesting in Delhi and other parts of the Nation in their cause.

2. We are against the proposed increase in Reservation in Graduate and Post Graduate Institutes of excellence in its present form.

3. We do not feel that increasing the number of seats will resolve this issue. Increasing the number of seats is contingent on the availability of infrastructure and human capital, the latter getting dearer by the day.

4. Regarding Reservation in principle, we believe that it was an exception made to the Right to Equality by the framers of our Constitution. This exception has continued far longer than envisaged. This very fact is a reason enough for us to request the Government to have a second look at the effectiveness of the policy and the way it has been implemented so far. We need to have a status check and we need it before we go ahead with further reservations.

5. While we agree that the weaker sections of our society need to be given a boost, the way in which the boost is being given may not be serving the purpose entirely.

6. The level at which reservation is offered makes a difference. The later the reservation is offered in a candidate’s life, the tougher it becomes to ensure parity. By introducing reservation at lower levels, say in primary schools, the deserving and disadvantaged candidates are given the opportunity earlier in their lives which is much more beneficial. Also, having introduced Reservation at a lower level, the percentage of reserved seats must be progressively reduced as the level increases. We believe if the ailing infrastructure of primary education in India is taken care of at the grassroots level, we might very soon not need a Reservation Policy at all.

7. As a policy, Reservation does not seem to do justice to those who are unable to avail Reservation. There is absolutely no reason in denying a seat to candidate and then offering the same seat to another who has not performed at par. Whatever be the justification, one cannot deny the fact that by endorsing and adopting Reservation, we are doing gross injustice to some while attempting to deliver justice to others. Surely a better method has to exist. It has to be found out and implemented.

8. Those who believe and base their arguments on the logic that the entrance exams do not judge the true potential of a candidate and hence a lesser mark in the entrance exam is not an indicator of the person’s academic abilities, should try and contribute in evolving a more objective/subjective criteria for evaluation where the true potential of the candidates can be assessed. Our effort needs to be directed towards this rather than taking the easier way out of compromising on the merit list.


9. The idea is to look at an alternative. While some have been proposed, we are not proposing any right now. We intend to work on it as soon as we regroup in our institutes and have a basic framework ready soon.

All that we are saying now is that extending reservation further is not going to help anyone’s cause. We believe the empowerment should start at the lowest level. As we progress towards higher education, let merit be the sole criteria. If the present systems of evaluating merit are not comprehensive enough, let the efforts be directed towards that. But as long as we have a system of evaluating merit, bypassing that system and tampering with the criteria is akin to making a mockery of those who work hard to succeed in the present framework.

Thanking you

Yours sincerely,

Srihari Bharatthi R Shreyan M L
President, Students’ Council Placement Representative
IIM Bangalore IIM Indore

Anshul Saxena Srinivasan V Narayanan
Student Member, Students’ Council
IIM Ahmedabad IIM Kozhikode

Akil Mohammad Memom Priyatham Vankayalapati
Student Student
IIM Calcutta IIM Lucknow

End of statement text .

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