Monday, July 16, 2007

Govt to try and get stay on reservation reversed

The Congress government is again going to make efforts to get the Supreme Court to remove its stay on the controversial issue of reservations in educational institutions for OBC's.

The Centre has sought vacating the March 29 order. The Centre said, it was approaching with the application for vacation of interim order of March 29 as certain facts and circumstances were discovered subsequently.
It submitted that in case the stay continues to be operative, a large number of candidates selected against the seats reserved for the OBCs would not be available to get admission and would lose precious one year.

The Government still has not answered the 2 main questions about where the data for the reservations that it has put in place is coming from. The last caste census was done in 1931, and the Government is hesitant to admit in court that it will use results from a census done in 1931 (76 years back), that too, done under the British India supervision and with doubtful accuracy, to form the basis for a sweeping educational reservation policy. The fact remains that the Congress has no basis except for political reasons to make these reservations. The figure was decided so that the total number can add upto less than 50%, the threshold that the court has used in the past as the total permissible limit. Crass intra-Congress politics decided the basis for this reservation, and the Congress will continue to pay for it. If it really cared for getting a good education to all, it would provide accountability in terms of getting a good educational system with facilities (not ramshackle buildings) and teachers who are present (rather than a large number of absentee teachers in rural areas); but these things do not pay politically.
The Government still has not answered the other question as well about trying to explain away as to why creamy layers have not been removed from those trying to get the benefit of reservation. The creamy layer, consisting of the privileged caste members tend to have a leg-up in terms of facilities, and corner most of the benefits anyway. So, if educational reservations for OBC's were available with the creamy layer intact, you would tend to find that people in cities, indistinguishable from anybody else (except that they have a caste certificate) will take most of the seats, leaving the poor OBC exactly as they were. Of course, most politicians belong in the creamy layer, so it is impossible to think that they will try and support the exclusion of the creamy layer.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 7:43 PM