Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Reservation – A Boon or a Curse? (Part 2)

Reservation as a Boon

Do we need reservation? My answer is yes, but I have another angle to it. The government should not reserve seats, promotions, cut-off marks etc, based on Caste - but they should reserve ‘Funds’! Only about 2% of GDP is spent on education in India. This is the fundamental problem. The government aided institutions are awfully short of funds and hence the quality of infrastructure, studies, students, staff, teachers and professors are awfully below par! The government should reserve about 15 – 20% of GDP towards education in the next five years. Majority of this chunk should be spent on improving the quality of primary education in the country. Create a body consisting of all the visionaries, industrial leaders, academicals and other entrepreneurs to maintain the fund. Probably this body could be headed by the President! There should be no other political interference to this body. This body would become the ‘Shapers of Young India’. A mass campaign on importance of primary education should be unleashed across all the villages.

(1) Make education (atleast up to class XII) compulsory for every child born in the country; • Invest on primary schooling infrastructure
• Invest on generating good primary school teachers
• Provide good compensation packages for these teachers
• Reserve funds to provide incentives to the parents who are below the poverty line but still are committed to educate their children

(2) Provide education free till class XII for all the children from families below poverty line. Impose minimal fee structure in the private institutes of education for the children from families above poverty line.

(3) Provide all the aides for education (books, papers, Compass boxes etc) free to all the children below poverty line.

(4) Revisit and revise the entire curriculum – the current curriculum does not produce proud citizens of India! The McCauley’s system of education has killed the pride of being an Indian! Our students lack on self-belief – the fundamental quality to succeed. The overall standard of our educational system should be revised according the modern day’s expectations still preserving our country’s culture!

(5) The government wants to implement reservation across all the private institutes and concerns as well. My suggestion would be to pass a legislation that would provide for all the private companies and institutes to allocate 0.5% of their profits to the national educational fund! This way we ensure that they pay for what they get from this country. They participate in building the next generation. Spare them from Caste based reservations which could potentially kill their existence! Another variation would be to give tax exemption to the donations given to this fund from any body.

(6) Abolish all kinds of reservations based on caste in all the government bodies, private institutes at one go! This would bring back all those people who have grown in the system through reservations to ground reality and make them compete with the rest. After all, they all are educated, would have progressed to good positions (already gained that extra mile over the rest) and so it is fair to expect them to compete the race. The main motive is to enhance the current generation’s productivity which is at soaring worst as of today!

(7) Beyond class XII it should only be a level playing field. Every seat for higher education would be based on Merit! The cut offs would be the same for all. The government would aid the studies of the winners from below poverty line families at this level!

This outline could be built upon and explained to details further. The first step is the toughest - determining the population below poverty line. But with modern days' technology tracking abilities, it should not be an impossible one.

Even today we blame it on our ancestors – the culprits who have created inequality in the society. With the current reservation policy we still do the same! We are trying to right the wrong by committing another wrong! A hundred years from now, you would have representatives of current days’ FC fighting to preserve their reservations!

Overall, our reservation system should be progressive, forward looking and focus on building our country as the best among the rest! This kind of reservation would truly be a boon! The onus is on us to leave our children a better place to live! Do our politicians have IT in them?

1 comment:

Kiran Mayee said...

Your suggestions are good, but, how far can they be implemented?

Politicians stand to gain large due to these reservations. What would happen to all those gifts that change hands in the process of securing a seat?

And its a well known fact that deserved never get a chance and those who utilise, many can afford the cost.

Educational fund is a good idea, and sponsoring the people in need, or providing benefit in fees based on their economic condition is good. But, I am afraid that this may never get through, as majority would lose, in monetary terms.