Merit gone to the Dogs

This is a topic which has started a debate everywhere. The whole country is voicing its opinion for or against the increase in reservation at IIMs and IITs to 49%. So how can yours truly keep mum about it?? :D

Well, I have always been opposed to the concept of such reservations. It’s the best way to make meritorious people feel unwanted in their own country. This is the last thing India needs at a time when She is just beginning to prove her potential to the world. Be it in sports, science, technical field, management, finance, fashion, entertainment, you name it. India is emerging in all these fields. And obviously it is only possible if the right people are at the right place.

IITs and IIMs have been always looked up to as the pinnacle of education in their respective fields. Half the reason that they maintained such high standards is because of the quality of incoming students. It’s a give and take kinda relationship. The students gain from the name of the institute and the institutes maintain their standard because of the students. You better not mess with this balance, else everything falls apart.

Enough of beating around the bush. Lets get to the point. In case of such reputed institutes, MERIT IS EVERYTHING. I have known cases where a guy worked his ass off during 12th Std and CET to get a good rank and get a free seat in a good engineering college [poor guy couldn’t afford payment seat AND dint belong to any of the “quota” categories]. He went there only to see the more than half the people around him have got seats because of reservations. One of his friends had got a rank of 30,000+ and during “studying” for CET, his only intention had been to pass all subjects in 12th. “Why should I simply put all the effort? Its enough if I pass in 12th. I’l easily get a seat in a good Engg college because of my quota”. And mind you, this person was not even as economically needy as my friend.

The point I’m trying to make is: Reservations, if ever they are required, should be on basis of FAMILY INCOME ONLY, not caste, creed, religion, sub-caste [or population of the vote-bank :-/ ]. Here is an argument I frequently hear to SUPPORT the reservation system, and my counter-arguments : -

People from backward classes have the right to quality education too.

  • Oh Yeah, they do. So, let them put effort and get a good rank and gain entry into such prestigious institutes. If you are meritorious, then you WILL get a seat, nobody’s gonna deny a meritorious student a seat just because he’s from so-and-so caste.
  • “Backward caste” IS NOT EQUAL TO “Poor”. In many cases, a person’s parents would have (justifiably) taken advantage of the reservation system to come up respectfully in society. They would be financially well-to-do. So then [according to me] the child doesn’t qualify for the quota.
  • I don’t think any of these pro-reservation crowd give a damn about the large number of meritorious people out there, who neither qualify for any of the quotas, nor are financially well-off. Such people will feel like aliens in their own motherland if the quota system kicks-off.
  • If a person IS admitted to such a prestigious institute by disregarding his [absence of] merit, then the standard of that institute will be brought down [Imagine, almost half of the students in IIMs and IITs will be unfit to be there!!]. Also, the non-merit person will not be able to cope with the curriculum and is likely to drop out before course completion.

I strongly feel the Govt would be better off improving the reach and quality of primary and secondary education. This would make more students fit for such quality higher education. Also, provide benefits and concessions for the economically backward. But, say no to reservations.



4 comments to Merit gone to the Dogs

  • Never agreed more... Mr Arjun Singh is simply trying to get Congress a majority on its own in the next election.

    But 50% is simply way to high!! The reputation of IIM's would just sink.

    If this is implemented, god knows what will happen to the _meritorious_nonquota_nonrich students in the country.


  • Anonymous

    hey kiran..
    I agree to each n every point u've made.. This article of urs should be printed on news paper yaar.. its really well written..

  • Anonymous

    Have a look at this post by Dr.Ravishankar shubramaniam

    I started to think about this..

  • Anonymous

    I seriously liked the way u've potrayed each and every point. Keep up the faith...

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