Educational institutions ready to implement backward class quotas

April 10th, 2008 - 6:33 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) Educational institutions Thursday said they would implement the quotas for backward class students but their acquiescence was reserved in some cases. The Supreme Court upheld the law according 27 percent quota for backward class students in government-run institutes of higher learning Thursday morning but clarified that the ‘creamy layer’, or the elite, would be kept out.

Shekhar Chaudhuri, director of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) - Calcutta told IANS: “We are ready to implement this policy from the current academic year provided we get a final nod from the centre.”

“However, this reservation will not be at the cost of the general seats whose number will remain intact. In fact, this year we have increased our seats by six percent that means 18 more students will be admitted.”

The Indian Institute of Management - Lucknow (IIM-L) said it would implement the quotas for backward class students in three years. “We will wait for the government direction and implement the 27 percent reservation in three years,” institute Director Devi Singh told IANS.

J.J Irani, chairperson of the board of management, IIM-Lucknow, said: “The Supreme Court has given the decision to implement 27 percent quota for OBC. Then we cannot change it; we have to accept it.

“But the court also must define the creamy layer in the underprivileged section.”

Calcutta University vice chancellor Ashish Kumar Banerjee, however, was against the Supreme Court order.

“The job market is too competitive to provide a shell to students and train them under protection. Later in life, they will have difficulty in grabbing a job based on merit and not reservation,” he said.

Authorities at the Indian Institute of Management - Kozhikode reserved comments in the absence of details about the SC order. “I heard media reports about the court ruling. I don’t know the details of the court ruling. Therefore, I cannot comment on the issue,” said Krishna Kumar, director of the Indian Institute of Management - Kozhikode (IIM-K).

“If the judgement is given we have no choice but to follow it,” an IIT - Mumbai spokesperson told IANS.

He said most of the professors and academicians were tied up in preparations for the Joint Entrance examinations which will be held Sunday.

P.S. Vivek, joint director at the Institute of Distance Education of Mumbai University, said: “This just seems like an election gimmick. This is not going to solve the actual problem. I just feel this will gain mileage for the present government.”

The judgement was welcomed by organisations representing the backward communities.

President of the Muslim Education Society (MES) P.A. Fazal Gafoor called it a welcome development. “It is heartening that the court also allowed reservation in government-aided educational institutions.”

On the creamy layer issue, he said that people from a caste should not monopolise the quota for backward castes. “A system of quota within quota, like in Kerala, should be implemented on the national level. Backward communities should debate this issue at the national level and should come to a consensus.”

He said the MES is planning to move court to make reservation applicable also in self-financing institutions.

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Kharagpur student Shankhadeep Ghosh said: “This law is definitely a boon for the OBC students. However, the best part of this law is that the seats are not reserved at the cost of general seats.”

“It is a welcome step,” said Sudhir Patnaik, social activist and former student of New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, in Bhubaneswar.

“Those who are really economically backward among the OBCs should get the benefit of this reservation and not those who are better off. They should not be encouraged to take advantage of this,” he said.

“It is a welcome step,” said Ratikanta Sethi, an OBC student of Utkal University. “This will help us secure education in institutes of higher learning.”

But Mumbai student Pooja Nayak was opposed to the SC verdict. “Judiciary was our only hope. Next thing will be 80 percent reservation for locals in jobs. We are just going backwards,” said Pooja, a second year student of Commerce at Patkar College in north Mumbai.

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