Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Independence Day :)

A very Happy Independence Day to all!! :)
Today my favourite country in the whole wide world completes 62 years of Independence! Yay!!

On a more specific note, what I want to post today is one thing that has been bugging me a lot for the past few days...... actually ever since I came across the news of an increasing %age of seats reserved for a certain caste in the Rajasthan Pre-PG exam!

As if more than 50% reservation was not enough, they (read: the fools who run the Government and make decisions based solely on their vote banks!) decided to add another percentage for a 'backward' caste, and even for the economically backward 'sawarnas'!

That is what I call trying to appease EVERYONE!
When there was that countrywide cry over the caste-based reservation of seats in higher education, some intellectual people suggested that we sould do away with caste0based reservation, and have just seat reservation based on economial backwardness.
Okay, good idea.
But the whole idea was to do away with caste based reservation, and not add the economical clause to the ever increasing list of reserved categories!!!
While what our dear decision makers did was to add that clause to the reservation list too!

Speaking of Higher Education, here's a bit about the Pre-PG exam, from my PoV:
One major point that seems to have passed the notice of the Govt is, that the people who get the benefits of reservation in higher ed (eg: Pre PG exam, in our case) are actually the ones who have come in through a reserved seat already!!
So, technically they are at par with all other students, without any discrimination! They have the same teachers, same books , same lectures as the unreserved.
Then why the upperhand in further competitive exams? Aren't they able enough to compete on their own now?
This policy is just plain (for a lack of a better, more abusive word..) STUPID!!

What all this reservation has done is, bring about more and more discrimination amongst students..and a creation of groups based on caste. (seen it happen in my college atleast!)
What this is doing is making sure that more and more people who all their lives did not bother about the caste of a fellow, know what-surname-fits-what-group!
A person who uptil school did not know what the value of a surname is aside from being a means of identification of a person, now sees the surname first and then based on it, makes an opinion of the person.
And even if he doesn't, the results of competitive exams like Pre-PG sure work to create a rift!

This kind of discrimination and step-motherly treatment for the 'general castes' breeds frustration (Sure hurts when you see a person with much lower marks, get in through a position that you rightly deserved--just because they belong to a certain caste).

Personally speaking its definitely helping to promote brain-drain!!


In today's day and age, what we really need is freedom from this kind of policies!!
Happy Independence Day.
Do something good today.


  1. Arps, Happy Independence Day to you too ! :D

    About the point you made, more than anything, don't you think that the job of a specialist doctor (a PG) requires skills, for it is about handling someone's life. Not just any paper work.

    And such an important job should go to one with the required skills rather than being based on any sort of reservation.

    I have seen (as is very common) a guy get a non-clinical branch at a couple hundred of ranks (though he had promising skills to become a clinician) and another guy get MS Orthopaedics being more than a thousand ranks behind just coz he was reserved a seat owing to his caste.

    I hope our decision-makers understand that placing lives of people in the hands of undeserving doctors is the greatest blunder they can make.

    At the same time, I don't think that the present examining system for the pre-PG is adequate to identify the best-suited people for their best-suited branch.

    Hope things change for the better... :)

  2. Hey arps,

    i agree with you on the whole. your point about them already being on an equal ground with us is spot on .... why reservation now ?

    ill tell you why that these politicos can sit and sleep in the parliament yet again, so that they can waste 4 crores of hard earned aam aadmi money and take full benefit of the AC's/ free food/ chai and other perks like 50000 calling minutes free and 4 roundtrips free by flight. this is other than the hundreds of crores they will get by their corrupt ways.

    we will not have truly achieved independence till we are rid of these ppl. at least the british did something good to our country during their time here. these pigs dont even attend parliament(read mr govinda)

    and reservation !!!! till what time will we give them the benefit of reservation....for god's sake we want a slumdog millionaire story here not a spoonfeeding one !!!
    we had a student in my class(one of the reserved category), who apparently said that the spleen was in the thorax in his final exam viva !!!!

    but guess what, other than cribbing and crying and abusing ppl, we, the so called general class are just too fucking impotent(pun unintended) to do anything about it .

    one reason why we lost the upper hand we had when the OBC reservation bill was introduced was because ppl got scared and filed a case .

    in this scenario, an indefinite protest wouldve done the job there

    on a more personal note to end it with, unless we have a majority(>300 seats) honest government with an honest(not impotent) leader, nothing will become of pulling back reservation because once reservation is done away with, that government wont sit in parliament for the next term.

    such is our system. apparently reservation, like high grade security has become a prestige issue !!!

    I cant even find apt swear words here......

  3. You're right.

    Especially about the fact that reservation breeds more discrimination. This is a personal experience too. We've had enough discussions when YFE was born; but things didn't change much.

    50% reservation = 100% politics.

    Hope things change for the better soon.

  4. Heyy!

    Thanks for raising such a relevant issue here!
    I think ALL discussions on this should boil down to a simple principle ... the problem is the unfairly unequal access to resources in the formative years ( poor education, physical and mental health facilities), leading to unequal access to resources in the later years ( here physical and mental health, comforts, and security)... the concern is to interject in this vicious circle, and break it... make it a level playing field ( as 'levelled' as it can get .. in a real world) .. so that each person earns his rightful bread.
    Now, while the real, logical solution to this problem lies in interjecting at the first stage ( cause) - providing adequate resources in the formative years, the politicians choose to opt for the vote-bank pleasing, easy way out ( easy way out for them as well as for certain beneficiaries themselves) ..
    The first option will yield returns over a longer time span ( by which time these netas may not be around to reap the benefits of the success. Also, it requires genuine and sincere effort, planning strategy and investment of funds. Only 20-30% of our govt/admin system runs on these considerations.
    The returns would be: an overall upliftment of the backward sections of the society... mentally, physically and intellectually..

    The second option will yield immediate returns: Votes. And vote banks. That is the prime reason for our netas existence as netas...isn't it? Votes - for power and money.

    Of course, theoretically and logically option 1 will also yield the desired returns for them .. but the long drawn time span, and the 'work' required .. defeats the purpose of the plan. People in india generally get into politics to avoid work, and yet get big money and power.

    I guess the model of reservations (and other monetary support)in the lower stages of education - primary and secondary, would be perfect. And really fair to those underprivileged sections of society who ( by caste, or creed or ranks) have been ushered into a life of injustice.

    (Contd.. )

  5. (contd)
    At the very least, some modifications can be and SHOULD be made in the existing system. PRONTO.

    1. Reservations based on mainly economic criteria. All quota candidates so selected should be facilitated in the initial few months, and equipped - by additional training, support, hand holding etc to be able to make use of the rare opportunity given to them.

    Purpose: The creamy layer - people who suffer no disadvantage, should not enjoy any unfair advantage!
    The talented, sincere yet undertrained should be allowed to armthemselves to fight the war and emerge victorious.

    2. Maybe Quota in secondary levels of higher education to be scrapped. You are right in pointing out that once u have the first round of higher education.. u are at level a playing field, as a complex diverse world can get.

    3. I was thinking, compromising merit in fields such as medicine and say engineering etc your skill at the job has a direct, immediate impact on the health and well-being of the community. Hence, here we must have a most stringent approach to this issue.
    What I propose is.. identifying the competencies required for each role .. (this includes the skills too - n not just the theoretical knowledge as assessed by a slightly questionable examination system).
    At the very least, the quota candidates picked from the pre pg exam.. can be assessed along those identified competencies, and only those be picked who pass along those. The vacancies so created can be filled by the next merit candidates in the list.
    Purpose- It will at least keep out the 'wrong' people for the job. And will take care of the 'may-have-skill-if-not-the-text-grades' factor. (as pointed out in one of the comments above)...

    I guess the real world is complex and needs a complex approach to attend to the variety of problems in every issue.
    A 100% correct, fair and just world is not possible. But the world should continually be striving towards that 100%. That's the only solution i guess.

    These were just some thoughts that came to my mind.

    Cheers n Happy independence day :)

  6. i too am one from the 'General Caste' .. Ppl who get seats which remain after our superior castes (ironically called inferior though) ..

    Its disgusting.... n there are a whole lot of such issues in India..... But i guess, on Independence Day, we talk abt the numerous 'feel-good' factors in India and celebrate the day .. :)

    and btw... i liked ur blog.. :)

  7. Wow..I've been ever so lazy in writing back. Here goes:
    @shobhit: You've made a good point about the clinical/non-clinical thing, but then is our examination system itself fair enough to decide that. I think not! You wouldn't believe the kind of crap they ask in the Raj-PrePG exam--its totally the stuff that'd do no one any good!

    But still something is better than nothing, so will root for this too if it comes up. :)

    @Pi: Haha.. I guess you blew out all the frustration that I meant to do, but was too polite to write! Yeah, my sentiments exactly.
    And the point that caught your attention (anotht ehm being on equal grounds now), is my major point too!
    (abd did you know that they have roster system too, so that the backward pple who score high enough to get a seat in the general quota, get that general seat, while the reserved seats can be filled in only by the low-scoring dumb ones! wtf!!)

    @annirudha: yeah! these were some of the points that have been discussed time and again sonce the YFE.
    But then the Govt paid no heed back then, and now our state govt. decides to add a further 10% reservation!
    Its like, why leave some seats for the Gen caste. Just do away with them too, so that we won't even bother to sit for the exam!!

  8. @ron: This time I disagree with you.
    Somehow your comment sounds like that program proposed by the central Govt, when faced by students.. (yknow, creamy layer and all!!)

    I guess you have to be a sufferer to understand the consequenses of it all.
    I've seen people getting >10% less than me in the RPMT exam and still getting thru (while I did not!)... and its even more frustating in the Pre-PGs.. My frends here know that they'll have just about 1seat/branch to compete for after removing all the reserved seats! And that is such a setback to even the incentive to study!

    And yes, I agree to the fact that resources should be put in the formative years. But then, hre the condition is totally opposite with the same people getting the benefits at 3-4 different levels!

  9. Hey ..

    hmm ... see, the bottomline is: everyone should earn their rightful bread. That merit is only compromised upon by the tool of 'reservation', is an undisputed fact. the points 1 to 3 that I listed were practical steps of improvement *only* in the event of no radical revolution happening overnight and the system of reservations being scrapped. (while I say this, in a civil society as reservations are scrapped, simultaneously, huge amounts of funding and sincere energies should be invested into education for ALL in the lower levels(primary and secondary)..and making it mandatory for public and private schools to reserve seats for such students (with financial aid)is a must in this direction.. along with putting in place a system which ensures that the mental and intellectual needs of such students are taken care of in this 'outgroup'- to which they do not really belong.)

    - Abt removing the creamy layer pronto. Well, that is the least that should be done. ('the same people getting the benefits at 3-4 different levels!' the benefits should in NO condition spill onto the next level or the next generation!)

    there is book by Malcolm Gladwell, "Outliers" .. that takes a very radical view of successful talent explores how what the society recognizes as successful talent is mostly conditioned and bred by the society itself ( through the resources, avenues for development, motivation etc etc) that is provided to each individual, to nurture her- only a minute percentage of any 'talent' is innate.
    * his "10,000-Hour Rule", claims that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practising a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours* ..
    If I am a lawyer's son for example.. i grow up in the lap of law... seeing, observing, understanding the courts, law, legal stuff etc etc since I open my eyes. If i have some small inner instinct for logical argumentation, analysis of events to reach conclusions etc .. it is easier for me to take up the field of law and excel at it.
    Some other kid born with a greater inherent acumen for law - who never got an opportunity in class one two and onwards.. to take up elocution, reading etc (simple luxuries of the schools we got to) will grow up at 22 (my age) - to have developed those very skills far behind mine. Make both of us sit in the same test now, and al fare well above him.

  10. Now, for the govt/ admin/ society to do nothing to ensure that this kid gets a similar nurturing ground (i am not using the unrealistic goal of 'SAME' nurturing) criminal. Especially since, this kid will have kids who will suffer the same fate. And the community as a whole is losing out huge chunks of potential talent which will never be tapped into.

    Again, the examination system at all levels (right from school to higher levels) may not do justice in assessing an individual's talent/ skill/ knowledge. So using that as the only yardstick in devising our approach to the solution, may not be a fool-proof method.

    Lastly, I personally think that while making other, better vocations accessible to the underprivileged sections is veryy important, certain highly skilled and specialized fields - where the impact of the work is immediate and deep on the life and health of the community, should be totally left out of this reservation rut. Medicine, and some streams of engineering (and the likes) for instance. It is foolhardy to not let the best equipped/ skilled/trained people to come in for each such seat. It deteriorates the very system which is supposed to feed and protect the 'hitherto unprotected', and defeats the larger purpose of both- the field and the system of protective discrimination.
    To help the merited yet financially restrained get access to such fields, help should be provided by way of govt. assisted ‘competition coaching institutes’ that we have access to, at the high school (preparatory) level.

  11. The concept of protective discrimination (whether in the west or elsewhere) brought blacks, and other marginalized sections of the society to the workplace, where they were never thought fit to belong. And yes, just telling them that u are allowed to work and play with us, would never have made it possible. The tangible and intangible barriers are so many that an impenetrable glass wall is created and in the initial stages, such stipulations on paper help melt it a little bit.
    Anyhow, all of this thinking through is more relevant for the policymakers and the civil society. Coz the matter is very complex, and requires a complex approach. This is not for a medical student in your place. To you, of course my simple response would have been, “Yes, I know… the system of reservation of seats in ur context is unfair. And conceptually wrong!” I was personally hurt when in those days of protests against OBC reservation, of all people Dr. Kalam said that “extra seats” wud be added ..and the general seats wudnt suffer! .. With inadequate infrastructure including faculty, in the instis of higher education, such a step further undermines the system!”
    I just mentioned all of the other stuff here, coz any discussion on reservations should take a holistic view of the issue- which is not just about “Quota”. Of course, this is my last day of leave on account of flu, and I am veilla enuff in life, hence the reams of paper on this … :D
    You go study now ! :-)

  12. ** in 2nd comment, "there is book by Malcolm Gladwell, "Outliers" .. that takes a very radical view of successful talent. It explores"

  13. well said -- while discrimination is bad, so is reverse-discrimination.

  14. hi thr... long time since i visited ur blog. a lot seems 2 be happening. logical enough, u got the spare time after the final year..:))
    some big comments, i got tired to the end reading the last few.
    ok so,
    you are justified in mentioning that thr should be no reservation for post grad.
    fair enough. and i m really wondering hw does reservation in rajasthan get past the 50% barrier. thats against the SC verdict.
    i used to oppose the reservation issue blindedly, yes i did. n sometimes i even do now. but theres a point, which we overlook. these are the inferences that i got from the little argument i had with my friend in my first year.

    many of the students which come from reserved category in my college for instance, are from dispersed areas across maharashtra. from less known places. and as it goes, many of them are economically less blessed. (lets not generalize the few exceptions for making a point in our favour). now lets face it, even if one person among these families becomes a competent doctor, he is going to take care of his "not so well planned" family.and a doctors family is no doubt well respected. even though its a small point it needs a mention.

    and it is not that everyone says that spleen abodes in thorax (these are exceptions). these students know the value of their education. for them doing well in exams is a big thing. and these people have been consistently scoring more marks than me in the past 4 years in our college. if we go by merit decided on marks as a crieria, then it is never constant, is it?

    n a more important point is, as these ppl come frm remote places, they are bound to return to their small towns and spread health awareness there. i dont see myself or nyone frm a metropolis do so. n this is probably the biggest point.

    now may be we are sacrificing merit for expanding reach of med care, but thats the price.
    i m not trying to force a pro-reservation point. but i m just being optimistic about the present system.

    at the end of it all we do find ways to be happy with what we get, dont we?

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  16. high time u update ur blog with a new post...fobby wants to read more : )



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