Reservation Issue Discussions

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Latest links on Reservation [two]

Posted by indiapolicy on June 21, 2006

Quota II: Punjab OKs free power for SCs, poor or rich it doesn?t matter

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/6004.html

Not just IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, over 100 more institutes, public and private, in 27%
OBC quota net: from Pune?s Symbiosis to TIFR, Manipal to BITS. Arjun Singh?s
latest Bill proposal also asks UGC to fix fees as per quotas, even threatens
punitive action

http://indianexpress.com/story/5752.html

After OBC quota, it's annual budget for SC/STs

A meeting of Group of Ministers (GoM) on Dalit Affairs on Wednesday recommended
earmarking of 22.5 per cent of the annual budget for Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes under the special component plan.

http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=69361

IIT-Kanpur & IIM-Bangalore Faculty opposes caste based reservation

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1632544.cms

After Premji, Murthy says NO to reservation

http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=68971

Meira says SC quota must rise to 16.23 per cent

IF HRD Minister Arjun Singh can do it, why not Meira Kumar? The social justice
and empowerment minister wants an increase in quota levels for scheduled castes,
commensurate with their population.

On Sunday, Kumar said a proposal to raise reservations for SCs from the existing
15 per cent to 16.23 per cent was being "favourably" considered by her ministry.
The government had last revised the quota level for SCs in 1970 in light of the
1961 census. Kumar believes it is time for another revision, especially since 68
additional castes have been notified as SCs.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/5922_1718336,0015002500000000..htm

People ought not to confuse reservation with Afermative Action (AA). When people
here talk about AA carried out by companies like IBM in the U.S., they are
unfortunately unaware that AA is not mandatory there. It is totally voluntary.
AA does not mean job reservation

http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/stories/20060616003502700.htm

Arun Shourie questions very notion of quotas in new book

Those who are making the new India by their innovations, hard work and by
striving for excellence must speak up. They must organise.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/001200606111140.htm

TOI EDITORIAL: Caste vs Class

The time is ripe for a rethink on the OBC category and the policy of equating
caste with class. Several proposals have been thrown up in the last few weeks on
how to fine-tune the reservation policy and ensure that it reaches those who
really need it. Hopefully, the government is listening.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1644616.cms

HindustanTimes.com ? Editorial ? On very shifty ground

The danger in pursuing such divisive politics is that very soon there may be no
more sections in the education and job pie to carve up and serve. It is one
thing to want to aid the underprivileged. It is quite another to keep expanding
the composition of the underprivileged, where the term ?backward? is just a
euphemism for assured employment. Ms Kumar?s ?vision? helps neither social
justice nor empowers any section of society. It only perpetuates and
democratises disabilities.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1718920,0012.htm

ET: Quotas: A futile exercise : MANOJ PANT

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1526545.cms

Dr Ramadoss plays the boss, pushes AIIMS chief to brink
Crisis: Saying institute autonomy at stake, Dr Venugopal threatens to quit; he
may face action, says meddling minister

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/6562.html

Resident docs support Venugopal, threaten to resign

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1655343.cms

Ramadoss overrides director's choice

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1655784.cms

Scheme for OBC students in Delhi. Government to pay Rs. 1000 for boarding per
month per student from M.P.

http://www.thehindu.com/2006/06/19/stories/2006061913540500 .htm

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday charged Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss
with humiliating All-India Institute of Medical Sciences Director P. Venugopal
and creating a situation detrimental to the institution's prestige.
http://www.thehindu.com/2006/06/17/stories/2006061716330100.htm

AIIMS row: Anbumani warns of action
http://www.thehindu.com/2006/06/17/stories/2006061716340100.htm

If AIIMS is to play the role in the country’s health sector that was envisaged
by Parliament — and that the institute, for all the talk of resource crunch,
has shown it is capable of — it must be freed from political interference.
Ramadoss is right to be worried about reviving public opinion in favour of
AIIMS. But by meddling and thereby overturning administrative procedures, he is
becoming part of AIIMS’s problem. At this advanced stage of the crisis, the
onus is on him to rescue AIIMS from politicisation. That can only be done by
respecting the autonomy of the institute and its director. Indian Express
Editorial
http://www.indianexpress.com/story/6605.html and
http://www.indianexpress.com/story/6529.html

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Posted in RID articles | 1 Comment »

Latest links on Reservation

Posted by indiapolicy on June 21, 2006

Latest links on Reservation

New Quota Call: Reserve Space for SC/ST Scientists

The Chairman of the National Scheduled Caste Commission, Suraj Bhan, feels that
premier scientific research centres like Indian Space Research Organisation
(ISRO) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) should be
opened up for reservations for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

"There is no reservation for scientists. We have now demanded that there should
be total quota for all categories, without any exception," Bhan says.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/060608/211/64w3m.html

Now, Muslims demand quota in politics, jobs

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1718074,001302220000.htm

Quota demand from yet another quarter

REPRESENTATIVES OF religious and linguistic minorities? groups have demanded
reservation for their community in government educational institutions and jobs.
Speaking before the National Commission for Religious And Linguistic Minorities
at Yojna Bhawan on Thursday, some of the members suggested that the SC ceiling
on reservation of 50 per cent should be done away with.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/5922_1721204,0015002500000005.htm

Quota II: Punjab OKs free power for SCs, poor or rich it doesn?t matter


\n
\n
\nNot just IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, over 100 more institutes, public and private, in 27%
\nOBC quota net: from Pune?s Symbiosis to TIFR, Manipal to BITS. Arjun Singh?s
\nlatest Bill proposal also asks UGC to fix fees as per quotas, even threatens
\npunitive action
\n
\n
http://indianexpress.com/story/5752.html
\n
\nAfter OBC quota, it\’s annual budget for SC/STs
\n
\nA meeting of Group of Ministers (GoM) on Dalit Affairs on Wednesday recommended
\nearmarking of 22.5 per cent of the annual budget for Scheduled Castes and
\nScheduled Tribes under the special component plan.
\n
\nhttp://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid\u003d69361
\n
\nIIT-Kanpur & IIM-Bangalore Faculty opposes caste based reservation
\n
\nhttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1632544.cms
\n
\nAfter Premji, Murthy says NO to reservation
\n
\nhttp://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid\u003d68971
\n
\nMeira says SC quota must rise to 16.23 per cent
\n
\nIF HRD Minister Arjun Singh can do it, why not Meira Kumar? The social justice
\nand empowerment minister wants an increase in quota levels for scheduled castes,
\ncommensurate with their population.
\n
\nOn Sunday, Kumar said a proposal to raise reservations for SCs from the existing
\n15 per cent to 16.23 per cent was being "favourably" considered by her ministry.
\nThe government had last revised the quota level for SCs in 1970 in light of the”,1] ); //–>http://www.indianexpress.com/story/6004.html

Not just IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, over 100 more institutes, public and private, in 27%
OBC quota net: from Pune?s Symbiosis to TIFR, Manipal to BITS. Arjun Singh?s
latest Bill proposal also asks UGC to fix fees as per quotas, even threatens
punitive action

http://indianexpress.com/story/5752.html

After OBC quota, it's annual budget for SC/STs

A meeting of Group of Ministers (GoM) on Dalit Affairs on Wednesday recommended
earmarking of 22.5 per cent of the annual budget for Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes under the special component plan.

http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=69361

IIT-Kanpur & IIM-Bangalore Faculty opposes caste based reservation

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1632544.cms

After Premji, Murthy says NO to reservation

http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=68971

Meira says SC quota must rise to 16.23 per cent

IF HRD Minister Arjun Singh can do it, why not Meira Kumar? The social justice
and empowerment minister wants an increase in quota levels for scheduled castes,
commensurate with their population.

On Sunday, Kumar said a proposal to raise reservations for SCs from the existing
15 per cent to 16.23 per cent was being "favourably" considered by her ministry.
The government had last revised the quota level for SCs in 1970 in light of the http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/5922_1718336,0015002500000000..htm
\n
\nPeople ought not to confuse reservation with Afermative Action (AA). When people
\nhere talk about AA carried out by companies like IBM in the U.S., they are
\nunfortunately unaware that AA is not mandatory there. It is totally voluntary.
\nAA does not mean job reservation
\n
\nhttp://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/stories/20060616003502700.htm
\n
\nArun Shourie questions very notion of quotas in new book
\n
\nThose who are making the new India by their innovations, hard work and by
\nstriving for excellence must speak up. They must organise.
\n
\nhttp://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/001200606111140.htm
\n
\nTOI EDITORIAL: Caste vs Class
\n
\nThe time is ripe for a rethink on the OBC category and the policy of equating
\ncaste with class. Several proposals have been thrown up in the last few weeks on
\nhow to fine-tune the reservation policy and ensure that it reaches those who
\nreally need it. Hopefully, the government is listening.
\n
\nhttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1644616.cms
\n
\nHindustanTimes.com ? Editorial ? On very shifty ground
\n
\nThe danger in pursuing such divisive politics is that very soon there may be no
\nmore sections in the education and job pie to carve up and serve. It is one”,1] ); //–>
1961 census. Kumar believes it is time for another revision, especially since 68
additional castes have been notified as SCs.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/5922_1718336,0015002500000000..htm

People ought not to confuse reservation with Afermative Action (AA). When people
here talk about AA carried out by companies like IBM in the U.S., they are
unfortunately unaware that AA is not mandatory there. It is totally voluntary.
AA does not mean job reservation

http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/stories/20060616003502700.htm

Arun Shourie questions very notion of quotas in new book

Those who are making the new India by their innovations, hard work and by
striving for excellence must speak up. They must organise.

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/001200606111140.htm

TOI EDITORIAL: Caste vs Class

The time is ripe for a rethink on the OBC category and the policy of equating
caste with class. Several proposals have been thrown up in the last few weeks on
how to fine-tune the reservation policy and ensure that it reaches those who
really need it. Hopefully, the government is listening.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1644616.cms

HindustanTimes.com ? Editorial ? On very shifty ground

The danger in pursuing such divisive politics is that very soon there may be no
more sections in the education and job pie to carve up and serve. It is one http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1718920,0012.htm
\n
\nET: Quotas: A futile exercise : MANOJ PANT
\n
\nhttp://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1526545.cms
\n
\nDr Ramadoss plays the boss, pushes AIIMS chief to brink
\nCrisis: Saying institute autonomy at stake, Dr Venugopal threatens to quit; he
\nmay face action, says meddling minister
\n
\nhttp://www.indianexpress.com/story/6562.html
\n
\nResident docs support Venugopal, threaten to resign
\n
\nhttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1655343.cms
\n
\nRamadoss overrides director\’s choice
\n
\nhttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1655784.cms
\n
\nScheme for OBC students in Delhi. Government to pay Rs. 1000 for boarding per
\nmonth per student from M.P.
\n
\nhttp://www.thehindu.com/2006/06/19/stories/2006061913540500″,1] ); //–>
thing to want to aid the underprivileged. It is quite another to keep expanding
the composition of the underprivileged, where the term ?backward? is just a
euphemism for assured employment. Ms Kumar?s ?vision? helps neither social
justice nor empowers any section of society. It only perpetuates and
democratises disabilities.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1718920,0012.htm

ET: Quotas: A futile exercise : MANOJ PANT

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1526545.cms

Dr Ramadoss plays the boss, pushes AIIMS chief to brink
Crisis: Saying institute autonomy at stake, Dr Venugopal threatens to quit; he
may face action, says meddling minister

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/6562.html

Resident docs support Venugopal, threaten to resign

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1655343.cms

Ramadoss overrides director's choice

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1655784.cms

Scheme for OBC students in Delhi. Government to pay Rs. 1000 for boarding per
month per student from M.P.

http://www.thehindu.com/2006/06/19/stories/2006061913540500
\n
\nThe Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday charged Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss
\nwith humiliating All-India Institute of Medical Sciences Director P. Venugopal
\nand creating a situation detrimental to the institution\’s prestige.
\n
http://www.thehindu.com/2006/06/17/stories/2006061716330100.htm
\n
\nAIIMS row: Anbumani warns of action
\nhttp://www.thehindu.com/2006/06/17/stories/2006061716340100.htm
\n
\nIf AIIMS is to play the role in the country’s health sector that was envisaged
\nby Parliament — and that the institute, for all the talk of resource crunch,
\nhas shown it is capable of — it must be freed from political interference.
\nRamadoss is right to be worried about reviving public opinion in favour of
\nAIIMS. But by meddling and thereby overturning administrative procedures, he is
\nbecoming part of AIIMS’s problem. At this advanced stage of the crisis, the
\nonus is on him to rescue AIIMS from politicisation. That can only be done by
\nrespecting the autonomy of the institute and its director. Indian Express
\nEditorial
\nhttp://www.indianexpress.com/story/6605.html and
\nhttp://www.indianexpress.com/story/6529.html
\n
\n\t\t
\n———————————
\nYahoo! Messenger with Voice. Make PC-to-Phone Calls to the US (and 30+ countries) for 2¢/min or less.
\n
\n[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
\n
\n

\n

\n\n \n “,1] ); //–> .htm

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday charged Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss
with humiliating All-India Institute of Medical Sciences Director P. Venugopal
and creating a situation detrimental to the institution's prestige.
http://www.thehindu.com/2006/06/17/stories/2006061716330100.htm

AIIMS row: Anbumani warns of action
http://www.thehindu.com/2006/06/17/stories/2006061716340100.htm

If AIIMS is to play the role in the country’s health sector that was envisaged
by Parliament — and that the institute, for all the talk of resource crunch,
has shown it is capable of — it must be freed from political interference.
Ramadoss is right to be worried about reviving public opinion in favour of
AIIMS. But by meddling and thereby overturning administrative procedures, he is
becoming part of AIIMS’s problem. At this advanced stage of the crisis, the
onus is on him to rescue AIIMS from politicisation. That can only be done by
respecting the autonomy of the institute and its director. Indian Express
Editorial
http://www.indianexpress.com/story/6605.html and
http://www.indianexpress.com/story/6529.html

Posted in RID articles | Leave a Comment »

Now, govt plans quota in sports

Posted by indiapolicy on June 20, 2006

 Now, govt plans quota in sports – Wajiha Shah

http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=188816

Minister calls meeting to discuss quota issue; sports lobby up in arms

The agenda — inviting suggestions on “how sports can be developed in the state” — looks innocuous enough, but for the rider. Here’s the last line from the letter: “Khiladion ke arakshan par bhi vichar kiya ja sakta hai (quota for sportspersons will/may also be discussed).” Insiders, however, caught it plain and simple: the main purpose is to discuss the reservation issue; the rest is mere formality. Even the state’s Sports minister, R K Chaudhary, admitted as much: “I had asked the Principal Secretary, Sports (UP), to study the reservation policy once implemented during the Mayawati government, and the current reservation policy of the UPA government. I asked him to give me the details of both. “Now I have got the pros and cons and we are going to discuss this at the meeting.”On meeting’s menu
“I have invited two Regional Sports Officers each from Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and general category,” Chaudhary said. Besides, the meeting will include two sports officers each “from SC/ST, Backward castes and general category.

“Invitations have been sent to national-level players also, for we intend to take all feedback before reaching a conclusion.” Elaborating further, the minister said: “This meeting will discuss whether reservation should be implemented in sports. If they all agree, then we will decide about the stage of trials it should be introduced in for admission at sports hostels and colleges.” Chaudhary, known for his pro-reservation stance, added that the percentage of reserved seats “could vary in accordance with the consensus. We will not necessarily follow the same percentage as in other institutes.”Game not on: Sports lobby
Padmashree Jaman Lal Sharma, who has been invited in the meeting: “There is no need for quota in sports because most players in any case come from the backward sections. Also, how can you compromise with merit during selection trials?”
Anandeshwar Pandey, general secretary of UP Olympic Association: “Where is the need for reservation in sports when 70-80 per cent of players selected for admission to sports hostels and state teams belong to backward categories? Besides, they are able to reach (that level) on their own.
We will oppose any move to introduce reservation in sports.

Posted in RID articles | Leave a Comment »

Re-caste the problem

Posted by indiapolicy on June 19, 2006

Re-caste the problem

Posted online: Monday, June 19, 2006 at 0000 hrs 

When markers for social justice are on sale, people will question policy based on them

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/6754.html

A poorly paid, unmotivated and continuously politically interfered with bureaucracy will sell pretty much all the bits of paper the government gives out and citizens need or want. Therefore, this newspaper’s report that UP babus were wonderfully pliant when asked to, as it were, “re-caste” prominent politicians, should not so much surprise the political class as worry them. There’s already a market for fraudulent caste certificates. But as the stakes go higher in caste-based positive discrimination, the market is likely to become bigger and deeper. Consider the attractive incentive structure for both the supplier and buyer of forged caste certificates when these pieces of paper can narrow the field in brutally competitive entrance examinations. Leaked question papers are already a part of education economics. False declarations of caste have all the potential to be the same. And if and when a new law reserves private sector jobs, the market for sarkari rubberstamped deprived status will become bigger.

 

It is possible, of course, to shrug this problem away by saying that since the PDS runs despite forged ration cards and welfare schemes, despite fake muster rolls, forged caste certificates will be no more system-busting than these other paper frauds on social justice. There are two problems with this argument. First, one of the reasons the PDS and welfare schemes are in such a mess is wrong beneficiary selection. Thousands of crores of public money have been wasted on good causes backed by bad logic. This is nothing to shrug off. Indeed, there’s a very good reason to go back to the drawing board and look at some of the fundamental principles of social policy.

The second reason forged caste identities can’t be dismissed as another usual Indian vice is that these pieces of easily obtainable paper make the point sadly few have done in the quota debate: the assumption of total congruence between deprivation and caste has been questioned authoritatively but to absolutely no effect as far as political action has been concerned. As this newspaper has always argued, as opinion polls published in this newspaper have conclusively shown, a great majority of the better-off wants targeted action for the socially disadvantaged—people are just not sure that caste is the right marker. As caste identity becomes increasingly purchasable, those doubts will grow.

editor@expressindia.com  

 

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To skirt controversy, Plan paper skips the R-word

Posted by indiapolicy on June 19, 2006

To skirt controversy, Plan paper skips the R-word

SEEMA CHISHTI

Posted online: Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 0000 hrs

 http://www.indianexpress.com/story/6663.html

NEW DELHI, JUNE 16:The Indian middle classes, the who’s who of the corporate world and the new economy have locked horns with the political establishment over the policy on reserving seats for backward castes in higher educational institutions. But it is interesting that the Planning Commission in its Approach Paper to the 11th Plan finds it inconvenient to even mention the R-word.

There is no mention of the phrase ‘Reservation’ in the 82-page document that has been sent to the Cabinet and state chief ministers for discussions. On page 64 of the document (which was reported by this newspaper on Thursday) are some paragraphs entitled, ‘Bringing on Par: SCs, STs, Minorities and others left behind.’ This discusses disadvantaged groups, and says that ‘‘…certain aspects of the backwardness need to be immediately set right. ’’

Upliftment of backward sections, including minorities is also discussed, as is education as an important tool in that direction. The paper says: ‘‘… educational schemes in favour of these sections would therefore need to be continued with redoubled vigour.’’ The document states that ‘‘minority-dominated areas would need special focus… schemes for creating infrastructural facilities would need to be implemented in these areas. In addition, it would be necessary to explore ways of incentivising minority students.’’

At other places in the Approach Paper as well, several politically correct noises have been made about empowering, developing and rehabilitating ‘certain sections.’ The proposal to increase seats is also hinted at. Basically, all words except the word ‘reservation’ as a means to meet the objective have been mentioned.

But what could be the reason for losing the R-word? A member of the Planning Commission says it is to ‘‘ensure acceptability across the board, so the paper is not immediately controversial. Controversy could mean that some states would turn down some of the crucial proposals and the purpose would be defeated.’’

seema.chishti@expressindia.com  

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OBC job quota move casts shadow over ‘casteless’ Andamans

Posted by indiapolicy on June 19, 2006

OBC job quota move casts shadow over ‘casteless’ Andamans

Shamik Bag

Posted online: Tuesday, June 20, 2006 at 0000 hrs

 http://www.indianexpress.com/story/6887.html

 In these island territories, there were no OBC categories; now the administration has created them, and some groups feel left out .

PORT BLAIR, JUNE 19:For years people of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, some 1,000 kms from the mainland, have proudly described their Union Territory as a casteless Mini India. Indeed, official records of the ANI administration haven’t had Other Backward Class categorisations.

But now a job reservation plan of the administration is creating a rift among islanders.

The Andaman & Nicobar Commission for Other Backward Classes (OBC) has recommended the reservation of 38 per cent government jobs, to be shared by two broad groups: sons of the soil, and post-1949 settlers.

The former are descendants of families of freedom-fighters incarcerated here by the British, and the latter are mainly Bengali Hindu groups resettled here by the government post-1949. Other groups given OBC status are the Moplahs of Kerala, the Karens, and the Bhatus, brought to the Andamans for labour.

“The communities that have been included in the OBC list are those who came here for historical reasons, have been settled here by the government and don’t have any other Indian state to go back to. For them, the process of implementation of the recommendation is already underway,” said G.C. Joshi, secretary, Tribal Welfare Department of the ANI administration.

About the others, he said: “Why did these people come here? They came here for leisure and started their own business and settled down. Their case is different from the settlers and they should not expect to get job reservations.”

But this is hotly contested.

Said Sanjay Chowdhury, president of the Hotel & Restaurant Association of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, “In the 1950s, thousands of people were recruited by the central government to help develop the islands. In those days, only one ship came here in a month, quality education was lacking, the whole area was thickly forested, malaria was rampant. Even potatoes were brought from the mainland. To say we settled here for leisure is an absurd idea and the commission’s recommendations are incomplete and hideous.”

He is supported by other groups representing the settlers from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. The three groups — the Andaman Tamizhar Sangam, the Andhra Association and the Malayalee Settler Association of A & N Islands — have teamed up to launch a widespread agitation against the “divisive policies of the government.”

Malayalee association president Dr R Tulasi Dasan alleges a bias: “Why did the commission survey mostly Bengali-populated areas and not visit places like Keralapuram in Diglipur, Betapur in Middle Andaman, Burma Nallah, Hope Town and Dundas Point in South Andaman, where Malayalees have been settled? Now that the administration is dividing society, there will be big disputes between communities.’’

G Dinakaran of the Tamizhar Sangam argues on similar lines. “Why weren’t Tamils, brought her to develop plantations, as labourers, considered for the list? The work of the OBC commission was done in a hush hush manner and clearly some vested interest was at work.”

Government jobs — some 33,000 of them, for a population of over 3.5 lakh — are among the most coveted here, since there’s hardly any industry, and only a fledgling tourism sector.

Many are of the opinion that the same reservation policy that was successfully and unanimously accepted for the higher education sector should have been applied to the employment sector as well.

Under the yearly allocation of seats for ANI by the Central government for higher education in the Indian mainland, 50 percent of the seats were reserved for pre-1942 and post-1942 settlers, 20 per cent for those with 10 years continuous education in the islands, 20 per cent for tribal groups and 10 per cent for children of central government employees.

Thulasi Dasan says that if this scheme never created any problems, why change it for jobs.

S Choudhury, general secretary of the A & N Territorial Congress Committee, says his party is clamouring for a broader reservation base through the application of domicile status rule, which will naturally disqualify applications from the mainland.

The Bengal Association of ANI has also protested. It says only 21 per cent of the Bengalis have been surveyed, and those not settled here by the government were left out.

The secretary of the Tribal Welfare department of ANI administration, which will implement the quotas, brushes aside the fears being expressed about society being divided. But people like Dhinakaran say they shudders to think of the day when youths hit the streets in protest.

shamik.bag@expressindia.com  

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Caste and creed replace necessities?

Posted by indiapolicy on June 19, 2006

Caste and creed replace necessities?
TAVLEEN SINGH | Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:29:9 IST

http://www.cybernoon.com/DisplayArticle.asp?
section=fromthepress&subsection=editorials&xfile=June2006_onthespot_st
andard161&child=onthespot

Bihar and UP have become increasingly backward in development terms
but voters here appear to believe that caste and creed are more
important than drinking water and electricity

By a happy coincidence I went to have coffee with Arun Shourie in his
elegant Delhi home the day his new book came out. It is
called `Falling Over Backwards: an essay against reservations and
against judicial populism' and it could not have come out at a more
propitious time. Had he anticipated Arjun Singh's 27% quota, I asked
between sips of freshly brewed coffee, and he said he had seen the
writing on the wall on account of being a Rajya Sabha MP and because
of his familiarity with the mood of the political class. He sensed
the advent of other backward casteism even before the Supreme Court
judgement last year that forbade caste quotas in private schools and
colleges. It was a result of this judgement that the government went
ahead with the 93rd amendment to the constitution that make caste
quotas a constitutional requirement. It was under the shelter of this
amendment that Arjun Singh came out with his OBC quota.

In Delhi's political circles they say the Human Resource Development
Minister's sudden concern for other backward castes was a consequence
of rumours that he was about to be kicked upstairs into some
governorship. Now, of course, he cannot be moved because neither
Sonia Gandhi nor the Prime Minister can risk being seen by OBC voters
as anti-backward castes. Not after the abysmal performance of the
Congress Party in the recent assembly elections in Bihar and not with
elections in Uttar Pradesh looming early next year. These two states
have been the bastions of OBC leaders like Laloo Prasad and Mulayam
Singh Yadav for nearly two decades. They have become increasingly
backward in development terms but voters here appear to believe that
caste and creed are more important than drinking water and
electricity.

Besides, it's not as if either of our two largest political parties
have offered them a choice between caste and development. Quite the
opposite. Both Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have competed
for the caste vote despite evidence that this is a game that casteist
leaders like Laloo, Mulayam and Mayawati will always play better.

Nehru opposed reservations too

Arun Shourie's book begins with Jawaharlal Nehru's letter to chief
ministers dated June 27, 1961 in which he opposes reservations for
scheduled castes and tribes in the strongest terms. It is too long a
letter to quote here but let me give you a paragraph, "They deserve
help but, even so I dislike any kind of reservation, more
particularly in Services. I react strongly against anything which
leads to inefficiency and second-rate standards. I want my country to
be a first class country in everything. The moment we encourage the
second-rate we are lost'. Ah, if Panditji could see what his grand
daughter-in-law's government is seeking to impose upon us by way of
reservations for those castes whose backwardness is itself uncertain.

In his new book, Shourie provides the most compelling arguments
against reservations pointing out that the very basis on which OBC
quotas are being provided is flawed. The last caste census done in
India was in 1931 in which census officers from across the country
reported that caste lines were becoming blurred on account of
economic and technological developments. Arun reminds us that
today, `By contrast, journalists and pollsters declaim with such
confidence, `Our Exit Poll shows that Kurmis have deserted Congress
and are flocking to….' Not just politicians, even judges talk as if
India is what it was, in fact what some text collated over 700 years
says it should have been twenty-five hundred years ago'.

In the many years I have known Arun as an editor and a friend the
thing I have admired most about him is his ability to immerse himself
totally in researching an issue and writing about it only when he
knows everything there is to know about the subject. He has done
exactly this with reservations.

So, how backward are the OBCs?

He damns the Mandal Commission in its own words by pointing out that
the commission itself was worried about the reliability of the
information it was getting. Listen to this. "In the end it may be
emphasised that this survey has no pretensions to being a piece of
academic research. It has been conducted by the administrative
machinery of the government and used as a rough and ready tool for
evolving a set of simple criteria for identifying social and
educational backwardness." On this uncertain premise is based the
decision to provide 27% quotas for those of backward caste, although
we are not absolutely sure who these castes are and whether they
remain educationally backward.

It is not just government policies that emerge from the book as being
seriously flawed, it is also the judgements of many eminent judges.
Based on a meticulous reading of pronouncements gathered from many
courts and many cases Arun draws a worrying portrait of wooly-headed
judges holding forth on history and caste without understanding
either. In many cases it is because of judicial activism that
governments have gone ahead with social justice schemes that are
often meaningless and retrograde.

I am running out of my allotted space so cannot go into details here
but I urge anyone even slightly interested in caste quotas and social
justice, to go out and buy Arun Shourie's new book. I would urge
policymakers to read it as well but know they will not because it is
not social justice or education that motivates them, but votes.

If this means betraying the legacy of Congress icons like Jawaharlal
Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi so be it.

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Quota Bill seeks right to interfere with IITs, IIMs

Posted by indiapolicy on June 19, 2006

Quota Bill seeks right to interfere with IITs, IIMs

Varghese K George

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/6795.html

Posted online: Monday, June 19, 2006 at 0000 hrs

New Delhi, June 18 :‘‘The UPA government will ensure that all institutions of higher learning and professional educational retain their autonomy,’’ says the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) of the ruling alliance. But, this is one promise that the UPA government has been unable to keep.

If a tug-of-war between the Health Minister and the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director paralysed the country’s premier medical institute, in the proposed Bill for expanding reservations, the government seeks the right to interfere in the functioning of IITs, IIMs and even unaided institutions deemed to be universities.

The draft of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation of Seats and Regulation of Admissions and Fee) Bill proposes wideranging powers to the Union Government in admissions – including the number of seats and procedure of selection – and fees structure of institutes such as IITs, IIMs and deemed universities.

‘‘If these proposals are indeed implemented, IITs and IIMs will become equivalents of government departments. You would no longer be able to call them autonomous,’’ says an IIM director. ‘‘As of now, the government cannot interfere in admission, fees, syllabus, appointment and the overall strategy of IIMs. But it is going to change,’’ he says, adding that the UPA government’s track record in maintaining the autonomy of higher educational institutions is not any better compared to the previous NDA government.

The NCMP promise on autonomy of academic bodies came against the background of former HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi’s repeated stand-offs with public funded research and educational bodies, particularly the IIMs. Not only did the Congress and other supporting parties make Joshi’s interference an election issue, after the victory, they made it part of their agenda for governance. However, the political priorities of the UPA, as defined by Union HRD minister Arjun Singh is giving autonomy a go-by.

Under the proposed legislation, the Union Government can, ‘‘By order direct any Central educational institution to increase the number of seats’’. This provision is to fulfill the government promise that the forthcoming reservation for other backward classes (OBC) will not lead to a reduction of general category seats. Regardless of the opinion of the faculty the government can force them to increase seats.

The section on ‘‘power to inquire and penalty for non-compliance of the orders’’ proposes that the Centre can ‘‘inquire in such manner as may be prescribed, in compliance with the provisions,’’ of the Reservation Act. And if any Central educational institution violates any provision, punitive action can be taken, including stopping of grants.

Sources in the government are unfazed though. ‘‘Autonomy is not an absolute concept. It is essentially about academic autonomy – wherein the government does not interfere with the intellectual activity of the academia. Autonomy has to be consistent with the social commitment of the government,’’ a government source says. He points out that the NCMP also says the ‘‘UPA will ensure that nobody is denied professional education because he or she is poor’’.

But the AIIMS controversy has brought to the fore the autonomy question yet again. ‘‘It has shocked all of us and we do not feel reassured by government actions in the recent past,’’ admits the IIM director.

varghese.k.george@expressindia.com

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Pro-quota body seeks removal of AIIMS Director

Posted by indiapolicy on June 18, 2006

Pro-quota body seeks removal of AIIMS Director

Chennai, June 18
Condemning the signature campaign for the removal of Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramdoss, a pro-reservation doctors’ association today sought the removal of AIIMS Director P. Venugopal and some senior doctors for allegedly being behind the agitation by medical students in Delhi against reservations for OBCs in higher education.
“The AIIMS Director, the Superintendent and some faculty members of the institution instigated the anti-quota protests against 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher educational institutions and must be terminated immediately”, general secretary of the Doctors Association for Social Equality (DASE) G.R. Ravindrananth told a press conference here.

On the demand by some Left organisations to exclude the creamy layer from the 27 per cent reservation, he said the DASE had requested the organisations to avoid such a demand as it could strengthen the anti-reservation groups and delay the implementation of reservations.

The association, he said, also welcomed Tamil Nadu Health Minister K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran’s announcement that over 1,500 doctors selected through the state Public Service Commission would be appointed for filling vacancies in government hospitals and that 1,700 doctors appointed on contract would be regularised.

Requesting the state government to avoid disturbing the contract doctors while appointing those selected through the TNPSC, Mr Ravindranath said the DASE wanted the government to regularise contract doctors from the date of appointment as temporary doctors for the purpose of seniority. — PTI

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Govt yet to discuss OBC quota with deemed varsities

Posted by indiapolicy on June 18, 2006

Govt yet to discuss OBC quota with deemed varsities
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 18
Although Oversight Committee Chairman M. Veerappa Moily has asserted that private and deemed universities will not be outside the ambit of reservation, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, headed by Mr Arjun Singh, and the University Grants Commission (UGC), which does not seem to share his enthusiasm, are yet to initiate a dialogue in this regard.

“Neither the ministry, nor the UGC has written to these universities to inform them that they will have to make necessary provisions to make space for the additional 27 per cent”, sources said.

The issue did not figure prominently on the agenda of the two-day meeting of Vice-Chancellors of deemed universities in New Delhi on May 4 and 5.

“The issue came up briefly, but was not discussed seriously and there was no mention of it in the minutes of the meeting”, the sources said.

The UGC has sought feedback from Central universities on the additional grant they will need to meet the 27 per cent reservation for other backward classes (OBCs).

The avoidable delay by the UGC in approaching private and deemed universities has put the Oversight Committee in a quandary.

It has declared that reservation for OBCs will be implemented in one go and will be extended to all private and deemed universities.

The tentative approach of the UGC has exasperated some Vice-Chancellors.

The Vice-Chancellor of a deemed university in New Delhi said, “We have not been told anything on the reservation issue. We have heard that the government proposes to implement reservation in deemed universities, but nothing has come to us officially”.

The Vice-Chancellor added, “There are many concerns that deemed universities have regarding increasing seats in one go, but nobody has cared to ask us. Not all of us are funded by the government. The costs will have to be worked out and space will have to be created, but no one seems concerned”.

Mr Moily’s assurance that the government will go all out to make it easy for private players to implement the reservation policy has come as little consolation.

“One cannot live by promises alone. The first step should have been discussion across the table. Since they have faltered on this one, we are not sure how they will make the process easy”, said the Registrar of another deemed university.

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