Govt tries to foist new quota on IIMs

via published on March 28, 2006

New Delhi: First it was HRD Ministry’s alleged intervention in IIM-Bangalore’s plans to spread its wings, and now, if media reports are to be believed, the HRD Ministry is seeking to foist a quota regime in India’s hallowed institutes — IIMs and IITs.

According to a report in The Economic Times, the econolmically challenged and backward classes quota could soon hit a new high in some of the premier institutes of the country.

The HRD Ministry is planning to raise reservations from the current 22.5 per cent to as high as 49.5 per cent.

States have been asked to calculate the percentage of backward classes under their jurisdiction and raise the quota cap accordingly.

Infact, ET states that HRD Minister, Arjun Singh has even written to the states asking them to speed up the process so that it may be ready for implementation for the 2006-7 academic session in state-level institutions.

Among institutes that come under the jurisdiction of the Central Government that may bear the brunt of this policy are IITs, IIMs, Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Delhi University.

However, the Central Government, which is to set the mandate on quota increase in these institutes is taking its own time to announce the same.

Arjun Singh has asked the state governments to frame laws under the 104th amendment of the Indian Constitution.

The amendment gives a right to all states to take adequate steps to ensure the upliftment of the socially and economically backward classes.

The amendment essentially means that the under-privileged should get a chance to secure admission in private institutes.

For the colleges, this could mean a fall in the revenue but for the students who fall into the general category this could mean studying longer hours to be a part of the cream of the Indian student population.

The trend of reservations started with the appointment of the Mandal Commission in 1980, which had proposed that 27 per cent of university admissions be reserved for backward and disadvantaged castes.

Private institutes, including IIT and IIM already provide reservations for Scheduled Castes (15 per cent) and Scheduled Tribes (7.5 per cent), as mandated by the Constitution

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