Study on quotas

February 10, 2015 04:15 am | Updated November 16, 2021 05:18 pm IST

The conclusion that quotas do not hurt efficiency is fallacious as the output of a large organisation hides the inadequacies and inefficiencies of Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ officers belonging to the underprivileged categories (“Quotas do not hurt efficiency, says study,” Feb.5). In my experience as a former Chief Engineer in the Railways, a probationary engineer posted in the field for the first time was removed after one or two months due to his incompetence and lack of application of the mind. He was invariably posted in the drawing office of the Chief Engineer and was then helped by not only his colleagues but also Group ‘C’ staff working in the office. He continued with such help all through his career, was promoted with some delay and then retired from a fairly decent post. The point is that the output of the organisation was never affected thanks to the efforts of officers in the unreserved category.

There are exceptions too where officers selected through the reservation route work hard and come up with individual effort and excel in their performance. They often did not want reservation for their children and wanted them to compete in the general category. In my opinion, the reservation policy can be continued with regard to education but not for employment or promotion. Those who are disadvantaged must be encouraged to study and come up by dint of hard work. Coaching institutes can be subsidised for the benefit of those who are underprivileged. This will be on the lines of employment in the U.S. where African-Americans are given preference if they show equal ability.

V. Purnachandra Rao,



I believe that this study should have been done using the extended society and not just to Class ‘A’ and ‘B’ employees. Had this study been done in educational systems and banks and the results compared with those in other countries, there would have been a much clearer picture. I would also like to quote a study which found that increasing the share of seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes significantly reduces poverty, while increasing the share of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes has no impact on poverty.

Shikhar Misra,



Most of the respondents were surveyed between 1980 to 2002. So, there is ample chance that they are second-generation, reservation-enabled employees of the Central government. Where is the question of their losing efficiency when they are equally equipped (maybe better equipped than their colleagues) to compete with their colleagues? The study furthers the case for introducing the “creamy layer” concept among SCs/STs so that development is more widespread across the base of the pyramid.

Anil Aleti,


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