Step towards equality?

The Union Cabinet recently approved the provisions of reservations in admission, for students of the economically weaker section (EWS) in Central Educational Institutions (CEIs). Is this a fair move?

Updated - April 20, 2019 12:58 pm IST

Published - April 20, 2019 12:50 pm IST

Bhavesh Bhagat, I, BSc (Hons) in economics and finance, ISBF, New Delhi

A fundamental argument for reservation lies on the tenets of inequality of opportunity, wealth and access to resources, and the nature of this philosophy is justified in the sense of it achieving vertical equity for Indians. However, is reserving 60% of the seats for people who might not always be the most competent, fair to those who have struggled all their life to get the same seat but have missed out, all in the pursuit of equality?

Avneesh Kumar, I, PG Diploma, IP Dental College, Ghaziabad

This is not the right allocation and it can never be. All reservation policies are based on the theory that they will bring equality and social justice. But in reality, it results in more inequality as it promotes the caste system and caste discrimination, hence generating negativity between reserved and unreserved categories. The government approach should instead, be aimed at improving the quality of education and subsidising tuition fees for the weaker sections.

Vinoo P, I, The National Institute of Engineering, Mysore

For years, a number of students expressed their objection to the concept of caste-based reservation. Now, the decision by the Centre, to extend reservation to economically-weaker sections, is a move in the right direction. The recent interim budget also announced the increase in allocation of seats by 25%, while aiming at retaining the seat availability to the general category in all CEIs. This announcement seems fair to all the parties, at this juncture.

Utkarsh, I, Master’s in development studies, IIT, Guwahati

Bringing the pool of talented students from the economically-weaker sections is a welcome move. Though this should be well supplemented with provisions such as raising the bar of seat allocations and other financial benefit. Moreover, a thorough overhaul in the existing educational framework, at the school level, is also required to push immature talent to a higher level. This will surely alter the dynamics of socio-economic structure in the higher educational institutes and uphold equity.

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