The caste based reservation system in India was started with a vision to uplift the minority classes and provide them with opportunities for growth and development. The policy has, however, turned into a bane for the general class of people.
The reservation system has its roots in the communal awards, introduced by the British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald in 1933, when some communities were provided with separate representation. After Independence, the first changes came in the year 1989, reserving about 49.5% of the seats in private institutions and high end government jobs for the reserved castes. In the year 2005, the caste system also hit the government funded institutions like the IIT’s and the IIM’s.
Today, less than 50%of the seats are available for the general class students in the IIT’s and the IIM’s. This means that more than 50% of the candidates are deprived of the opportunity to study in their dream institutions owing to the system of reservations. While saying so, I also realise that the reservation system was introduced with a vision to develop all classes of the society and is an important step in ensuring the overall growth of the country but is caste really an appropriate measure of a person’s living conditions? Or is the idea of including the annual family income of a person as one of the criteria before considering him for reservation is so very bizarre in itself?
In such times, before trying to make the education system in the IIT’s open for foreign students in order to improve the international rankings of these institutes, the government should focus on the task of altering the reservation system in the country.
Reservation, therefore, is important, but the current procedure of selecting candidates for reservation diminishes its value.
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