Friday, March 30, 2007

Reservation Ruling

Affirmative action in the news again for the nth time and I am afraid wouldn't be the last time either. This issue back on the spot light because of the the apex court ruling which is bound to impact admissions to only to select central schools like IIMs & IITs.

Yet, most of the political parties in Tamil Nadu are up in arms and taking a leaf from West Bengal, there is a state government sponsored stoppage of work (Bandh) being planned for tomorrow.

My views on this row are well known, so I wouldn't spend ink on it. Former Prime Minister VP Singh is suggesting a referendum on this issue which is kind of novel idea for India. However, I doubt if that will make difference as it is likely further polarize people.

As Supreme Court suggests, what is needed is a fair and accurate count of various groups and their economic status such the discussions on this subject can be based on facts and not just on emotions. It is a mockery to use colonial era (1931) data to perpetuate a system that is fundamentally anti-merit.
The court rejected the government argument that reservation was not anti-merit; and in the absence of caste data after 1931, there was no alternative to projecting the population proportion of socially and educationally backward classes and OBCs from the next best source — the latest available census of 1931.